daylight saving

or daylight savings

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the practice of advancing standard time by one hour in the spring of each year and of setting it back by one hour in the fall in order to gain an extra period of daylight during the early evening.
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Origin of daylight saving

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is daylight saving?

Daylight saving is the practice of adjusting the time in order to gain an extra hour of daylight in the evening during part of the year. Daylight saving is begun in the spring by setting clocks one hour ahead. They are then set one hour back in the fall. Daylight saving is also commonly called daylight savings.

The period during which daylight saving is observed is called daylight-saving time or daylight-savings time (both daylight saving and daylight savings can be used as short forms of these terms). All of these terms can also refer to the specific mode of time that’s being used during a particular period, as opposed to standard time.

People often use the simple mnemonic spring forward, fall back to remember to set clocks forward one hour (e.g., from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.) in the spring and backward one hour (e.g., from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m.) in the fall. This is often seen as resulting in one less hour of sleep time on the day that the clocks are adjusted in the spring and one more hour when they’re changed in the fall.

Daylight saving is widespread, but it is not practiced everywhere or in the same way in all locations. In the U.S., for example, daylight-saving time is not observed by the states of Arizona or Hawaii.

Example: Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead for daylight saving.

When is daylight saving?

The specific dates on which daylight saving begins and ends change from year to year, but they are always scheduled for the early morning hours of a Sunday.

The dates for the beginning and end of daylight saving also vary from place to place within a given year.

In the U.S., daylight saving 2023 will begin on March 12 and end on November 5. In 2024, it will begin on March 10 and end on November 3.

In the U.K., daylight saving 2023 will begin on March 26 and end on October 29. In 2024, it will begin on March 31 and end on October 27.

More information and context on daylight saving

The first records of the term daylight saving come from the early 1900s. The practice is thought to have been first proposed by U.S. statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin in the 1700s. The idea gained traction in the late 1800s and was first officially adopted by Germany in 1916, followed soon after by several other countries, including the U.S. in 1918. Daylight saving was enacted during this time in part as a way to save energy costs during World War I, and the same thing was done during World War II. An annual period of daylight saving was permanently enacted for much of the U.S. in 1973.

Today, the need for daylight saving is debated, with critics noting that it no longer serves the practical purposes that it was once intended to.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing daylight saving?

How is daylight saving discussed in real life?

Daylight saving is commonly called daylight savings and both are commonly used to refer to daylight-saving time. Most people look forward to more daylight, but not losing an hour of sleep when “springing forward.”

Try using daylight saving!

True or False?

All locations around the world observe daylight saving in the same way.

How to use daylight saving in a sentence