• synonyms


[bahy-seks-til, -tahyl, bi-]
  1. containing or noting the extra day of leap year: The years 1980 and 1984 were both bissextile.
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  1. leap year.
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Origin of bissextile

1585–95; < Late Latin bi(s)sextilis (annus) leap year, equivalent to bissext(us) bissextus + -ilis -ile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bissextile

Historical Examples

  • This fourth year was denominated Bissextile, because the sixth day before the Kalends of March was reckoned twice.

    Letters on Astronomy

    Denison Olmsted

  • Can we therefore believe that the Egyptians before this period were ignorant of the bissextile intercalation?

  • The bissextile is known to have been used by the Mayas, Tzendals, and Quichés, and it was probably common.

  • The fourth year was bissextile, and the dominical letters were F, E; the following year D, and so on.

British Dictionary definitions for bissextile


  1. (of a month or year) containing the extra day of a leap year
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  1. a rare name for leap year
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Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin bissextilis annus leap year, from Latin bissextus, from bi- 1 + sextus sixth; referring to February 24, the 6th day before the Calends of March
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

Word Origin and History for bissextile

1580s (n.); 1590s (adj.), in reference to Roman leap year, from Late Latin (annus) bissextilis "leap year," literally "the twice sixth-day," because the sixth day before the Calends of March was doubled.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper