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420

or 4/20 or 4:20

[ fawr-twen-tee, fohr‐ ]
/ ˈfɔrˈtwɛn ti, ˈfoʊr‐ /
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noun Slang

marijuana: Are you carrying any 420 on you?
marijuana drug use: Police presence at the concert discouraged 420.The guys at the party were all 420-friendly.
the twentieth day of the fourth month, or the time 4:20, when referenced as a day or time for cannabis consumption or the celebration of marijuana culture: The head shop has a big pipe sale every year on 420.

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Origin of 420

First recorded in 1970–75; a code word derived from the meeting time of a particular group of marijuana smokers in 1971, later popularized by fans of the band the Grateful Dead
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What is 420?

420 is a slang term (or a kind of code word) referring to marijuana or marijuana use.

Due to this association, 420 is also used as the name of an unofficial holiday that marijuana enthusiasts celebrate by using marijuana. It is sometimes called Weed Day (weed is a slang term for marijuana).

When is 420?

420 is April 20—aka 4/20.

More information and context on 420

The first records of the term 420 in the context of marijuana come from the early 1970s. It most likely began as a code word among a small group of California highschoolers whose regular meeting time to smoke weed was at 4:20 p.m. (There does not seem to be any evidence for theories involving 420 being a criminal code violation number or a police radio code.) It was later popularized in part by fans of the band the Grateful Dead.

As the term became more well-known, the date of April 20 (written in the month/day date format as 4/20) became recognized among marijuana users as a day to indulge in its use. The time 4:20 is sometimes used in the same way (with 4:20 on 4/20 being especially popular among some celebrants).

While 420 has traditionally been an excuse for people to get together and smoke weed, it is sometimes used a day to hold organized events, such as rallies to support the legalization of marijuana. It has become even more well-known as marijuana becomes legal in many locations.

420 is not the only unofficial holiday based on a particular date representing something in pop culture. March 14 has become known as Pi Day due to its date (written in the month/day format as 3/14) resembling an approximation of pi (3.14). May 4 is sometimes called Star Wars Day because May the Fourth sounds like the beginning of the well-known Star Wars greeting May the force be with you.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing 420?

How is 420 discussed in real life?

420 is a slang term that’s most commonly associated with its use as the name of the informal holiday.

Try using 420!

True or False?

420 happens on the fourth day of the 20th month.

Example sentences from the Web for 420

  • Hans, who had been watching behind his door, then ran-420- out, pushed his way through the mob and caught Walther by the arm.

    Operas Every Child Should Know|Mary Schell Hoke Bacon
  • Albicante replied with another poem in terza rima, and Aretino seems to have perceived that he had met a-420- worthy adversary.

  • He sings of his joy in possessing-420- Violetta: "Di miei bollenti spiriti" (Wild my dream of ecstasy).

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