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[lam-uh s] /ˈlæm əs/
a former festival in England, held on August 1, in which bread made from the first harvest of corn was blessed.
a festival (Feast of St. Peter's Chains) observed by Roman Catholics on August 1, in memory of St. Peter's imprisonment and his miraculous deliverance.
Also called Lammas Day.
Origin of Lammas
before 900; Middle English Lammesse, Old English hlāmmæsse, hlāfmæsse. See loaf1, Mass Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Lammas
Historical Examples
  • The weather had been abnormally dry, and there might after all be no Lammas floods.

  • Beyond all else, she was interested in the procession of ghosts on Lammas Eve.

  • The Lammas rights of the parishioners, with respect to this land, are now extinct.

    Chelsea George Bryan
  • "This beats the Lammas flood o' '68," said the landlord, as he led the way to supper.

    The Story Of Kennett Bayard Taylor
  • If you time your visit between Maunday and Lammas, you obtain fourteen thousand years' pardon.

    Robert Annys: Poor Priest Annie Nathan Meyer
  • Lammas (loaf mass) is also found as a personal name, but there is a place called Lammas in Norfolk.

    The Romance of Names

    Ernest Weekley
  • There are only some very bad wells for the cattle, and they have to fetch drinking-water from afar, from Ghenab and Lammas.

    Southern Arabia Theodore Bent
  • The season was harvest, and the Lammas floods had brought up the bull or sea trouts.

  • The Lammas meadows are divided into strips like the arable land for the purpose of the hay crop.

  • Grass-yrth may be the gafol for the share in the Lammas meadows, and the gafol-yrth for the arable in the yard-land.

British Dictionary definitions for Lammas


(RC Church) Aug 1, held as a feast, commemorating St Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison
Also called Lammas Day. the same day formerly observed in England as a harvest festival. In Scotland Lammas is a quarter day
Word Origin
Old English hlāfmæsse loaf mass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Lammas

Aug. 1 harvest festival with consecration of loaves, Old English hlafmæsse, literally "loaf mass," from hlaf (see loaf (n.)) + mæsse (see mass (n.2)). Altered by influence of lamb (and occasionally spelled lamb- in 16c.-17c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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