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ferial

/ (ˈfɪərɪəl) /
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adjective
of or relating to a feria
rare of or relating to a holiday
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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

VOCAB BUILDER

What does ferial mean?

Ferial is a word used in the Roman Catholic Church to describe a weekday on which no feast is celebrated.

The noun feria refers to any weekday (Monday through Friday) that doesn’t celebrate a holy mystery, event, or person (such as a saint). Days that celebrate one of these are called feast days. A day that does not can be described as ferial.

The religious sense of feria is not commonly used today, even among most Catholics, and ferial is perhaps even less common. You’re much more likely to hear the word feria in Spanish, in which it refers to a local fair or festival, especially one to celebrate a local saint.

Example: Friday was a ferial day because there was no religious feast celebrated.

Where does ferial come from?

The first records of the word ferial in English come from around the 1400s. The noun feria comes from the Late Latin word of the same spelling meaning “day of the week.” For example, in Latin, Monday was referred to as secunda fēria (“second day”). Versions of the term were used in Latin to refer to special holidays.

Today, the words feria and ferial are typically only used in technical discussions of the Catholic Church calendar. You are much more likely to hear the word feria used to refer to a festival held in Spain or Latin America. One of the biggest, most popular of these festivals is the Feria de Abril, which is held every year in Seville, Spain, and consists of a week of dancing, music, and fireworks.

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How is ferial used in real life?

The word ferial is typically only used in discussions of the calendar used by the Catholic Church.

Try using ferial!

True or False?

The word ferial is used by followers of Judaism to describe a day when a feast is not held.

How to use ferial in a sentence

  • It was a ferial day, and I therefore went to the church at eleven in the morning after making an enormous breakfast.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete|Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
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