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[yool] /yul/
Christmas, or the Christmas season.
Origin of yule
before 900; Middle English yole, Old English geōl(a) Christmastide; cognate with Old Norse jōl; akin to Gothic jiuleis
Can be confused
you'll, yule. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yule
Historical Examples
  • The grand staircase is as black before me as a yule midnight!

    Red Cap Tales Samuel Rutherford Crockett
  • This was at yule, and the same practice held in the parish school of Thrums.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie
  • He's a fool that marries at yule; for when the bairn's to bear the corn's to shear.

    The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop
  • The yule log was blazing and sputtering all sorts of fireworks and colors.

    Fairy Prince and Other Stories Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • "Geoffrey," whispered Mr. yule, with an air of satisfaction.

    Moods Louisa May Alcott
  • What did ye do at his bidding, ye who were keeping the yule feast with him?

    Sintram and His Companions Friedrich de la Motte Fouque
  • Its just the motive, Captain yule returned, that makes me wince at it!

    The Two Magics Henry James
  • I dont like jumping women, Captain yule threw in; but that perhaps is a detail.

    The Two Magics Henry James
  • Im afraid you mean, Captain yule laughed, that I must first roar like one.

    The Two Magics Henry James
  • yule asked with an embarrassment that he tried to laugh off.

    The Two Magics Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for yule


(sometimes capital) (literary, archaic or dialect)
  1. Christmas, the Christmas season, or Christmas festivities
  2. (in combination): yuletide
Word Origin
Old English geōla, originally a name of a pagan feast lasting 12 days; related to Old Norse jōl, Swedish jul, Gothic jiuleis
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 yule

Old English geol, geola "Christmas Day, Christmastide," from Old Norse jol (plural), a heathen feast, later taken over by Christianity, of unknown origin.

The Old English (Anglian) cognate giuli was the Anglo-Saxons' name for a two-month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January, a time of important feasts but not itself a festival. After conversion to Christianity it narrowed to mean "the 12-day feast of the Nativity" (which began Dec. 25), but was replaced by Christmas by 11c., except in the northeast (areas of Danish settlement), where it remained the usual word.

Revived 19c. by writers to mean "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.' " First direct reference to the Yule log is 17c. Old Norse jol seems to have been borrowed in Old French as jolif, hence Modern French joli "pretty, nice," originally "festive" (see jolly).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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