[ ad-vent ]
/ ˈæd vɛnt /
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a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: the advent of the holiday season.
Usually Advent . the coming of Christ into the world.
Advent, the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.
Usually Advent . Second Coming.
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Origin of advent

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English, from Latin adventus “arrival, approach,” equivalent to ad- “toward” + ven- (stem of venīre “to come”) + -tus suffix of verbal action; see ad-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Advent season?

Advent is the season before Christmas. In many branches of Christianity, Advent consists of the period starting four Sundays before Christmas.

Among Christians, Advent is typically considered a season of preparation for the celebration of Christmas that also commemorates the coming of Jesus. The word Advent can also refer to the coming of Jesus into the world (it can also refer to what’s known as Jesus’s Second Coming).

Religious rituals for Advent include the lighting of candles on an Advent wreath and the decoration of Jesse trees.

Although Christmas is widely celebrated in both religious and secular (nonreligious) ways, Advent is primarily a religious observance. However, Advent calendars are a popular way of marking the days until Christmas even for those who do not celebrate it in religious ways.

The similar season observed in anticipation of Easter is known as Lent.

When is Advent?

In many branches of Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In 2023, Advent starts on December 3. In 2024, it starts on December 1.

More information and context on Advent

In general, the word advent means “a coming” or “an arrival.” It comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “arrival” or “approach.” This general sense is often used in the context of the beginning or approach of seasons, as in the advent of spring.

In the early Christian church, Advent is thought to have been a season of fasting and repentance to prepare for the feast of the Epiphany. Eventually, Advent began to be associated with the Second Coming of Jesus, and later it became associated with the feast of the birth of Jesus.

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

How is Advent discussed in real life?

Advent is primarily a religious observance, but it is sometimes used as the name for the season preceding Christmas by those who celebrate in nonreligious ways, especially in the context of Advent calendars.


Try using Advent!

True or False?

Advent always begins on December 1.

How to use advent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for advent (1 of 2)

/ (ˈædvɛnt, -vənt) /

an arrival or coming, esp one which is awaited

Word Origin for advent

C12: from Latin adventus, from advenīre, from ad- to + venīre to come

British Dictionary definitions for advent (2 of 2)

/ (ˈædvɛnt, -vənt) /

Christianity the season including the four Sundays preceding Christmas or (in Eastern Orthodox churches) the forty days preceding Christmas
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

Cultural definitions for advent


The coming of Jesus, either in the Incarnation of biblical times or in the Second Coming at the end of the world. Also, a time observed in many Christian churches in December to prepare for Christmas.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.