[ frahy-dey, -dee ]
/ ˈfraɪ deɪ, -di /
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the sixth day of the week, following Thursday.


Four Reasons Why Friday The 13th Is Unlucky

There are many theories as to why Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. Fortunately, there aren't 13 of them. Aside from that whole horror movie thing, there are some old reasons why this day has inspired so many superstitions.

Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
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Which form is commonly used with other verbs to express intention?

Origin of Friday

before 1000; Middle English; Old English Frīgedæg Freya's day, equivalent to Frīge (genitive singular of Frēo) + dæg day; Frēo is identical with Old English adj. frēo free
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does Friday mean?

Friday is the weekday between Thursday and Saturday.

In much of North and South America, where most countries (including the U.S. and Canada) consider the calendar week to begin on Sunday, Friday is the sixth day of the week. In other places, where the week is considered to begin on Saturday or Monday, Friday is the seventh or fifth day of the week.

Regardless of when the week officially begins, in many places Friday is considered the fifth and final day of the workweek, the five-day span from Monday to Friday during which many people work, with Saturday and Sunday considered the weekend. Friday evening is often considered the start of the weekend (though Friday is still considered a weekday).

People famously love Friday (TGIF!) because it’s when the workweek (or school week) ends and the weekend begins. Friday is associated with the anticipation of rest, relaxation, and freedom from responsibility. For that reason, people sometimes take things a bit easier on Fridays. Casual Fridays are Fridays on which employees can dress less formally than is usually required.

The word Fridays can be used as an adverb meaning every Friday or on Fridays, as in I have off Fridays or The shop is closed Fridays. 

To indicate the general time of day during which something will happen on a Friday, the word can be followed by the general time, as in Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Friday evening, and Friday night.

Example: After I finish work on Friday, I love to go home, order pizza, change into my pajamas, and stay up late watching movies.

Where does Friday come from?

The first records of the word Friday come from before 1000. It comes from the Old English Frīgedæg, meaning “Freya‘s day.” In Latin, the name for the day we call Friday is dies Veneris, meaning “Venus’s day,” referring to the Roman goddess of love. However, the name of the day in many languages is instead based on the name of one of two goddesses from Norse mythology, either the love goddess Freya or chief goddess Frigg (or Frigga), wife of Odin.

Friday is just one of the days of the week named after a mythological figure. Tuesday derives its name from Tiu, war god of Anglo-Saxon mythology. Wednesday gets its name from Woden, the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Odin. Thursday is named for Thor, hammer-wielding god of thunder (and son of Odin).

In Islam, Friday is a day of worship.

In Christianity, Good Friday is the Friday before Easter that marks the death of Jesus.

In U.S. history, Black Friday refers to September 24, 1869, the date of a financial panic sparked by gold speculators. The term Black Friday is more commonly known as the informal name for the day after Thanksgiving, on which retailers offer special sales to mark the start of the holiday shopping season.

The date Friday the 13th is popularly associated with superstitions about bad luck or evil occurrences.

If you’re curious to know more about the history behind the word Friday, just read our article on the name’s fascinating origins.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to Friday?

  • Fridays (plural noun, adverb)
  • Fri (abbreviation)
  • Fri. (abbreviation)

What are some words that share a root or word element with Friday

What are some words that often get used in discussing Friday?

How is Friday used in real life?

People love and look forward to Friday because it’s the unofficial start of the weekend.

Try using Friday!

Which of the following mythological figures might Friday be named for?

A. Hera
B. Freya
C. Athena
D. Demeter


What is Friday the 13th?

Friday the 13th refers to a calendar date superstitiously associated with bad luck and evil doings.

Where did the term Friday the 13th come from?

When the 13th day of any month falls on a Friday, generally referred to as Friday the 13th, it is popularly believed that it will bring bad luck, terrible occurrences, and even fatal accidents.

The exact origins of Friday the 13th, as a term and superstition, are unclear.

Anthropology professor Phillips Stevens Jr. has argued that fear of the date may have been inspired in the Middle Ages surrounding Christian beliefs about the death of Jesus Christ. According to Stevens, Jesus’s Last Supper is said to have had 13 participants, including Jesus, and occurred on the evening before his crucifixion on a Friday, leading to dark associations between Friday and the number 13.

Other theories point more generally to superstitions surrounding the number 13 as an unlucky number and Friday as an unlucky day of the week.

Friday the 13th notably appeared in the early 20th century with Thomas Lawson’s 1907 novel Friday, the Thirteenth, a story about a broker using his superstitious beliefs to win big in the stock market.

The term and superstition rose to great prominence in 1980 with the release of the slasher horror film Friday the 13th, starring the undead, machete-wielding, hockey goalie mask-wearing murderer Jason Voorhees (first played by Ari Lehman). In the film, Friday the 13th is referred to as “Jason’s birthday,” and in the decades since, 12 Friday the 13th sequels, a comic book and TV series, and various memorabilia have cemented the association between the franchise and Friday the 13th.

Scientists have explored how people who think Friday the 13th is an unlucky day may be priming themselves for unlucky-seeming episodes on the day, à la self-fulfilling prophecy, but the day is not statistically worse than other days.

How to use the term Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th, which occurs whenever the 13th of any month falls on a Friday, is described as a day when bad things happen in the popular imagination and culture, especially when a Friday the 13th falls in October before Halloween. Halloween merchandise and content often incorporate Friday the 13th for spooky effects.

Popular articles on the cultural phenomenon circulate online on Friday the 13th dates, as do jokes and casual references on social media.

People may humorously blame the day for setbacks in speech and on social media (e.g., Of course I got in a car accident today, it’s Friday the 13th). Other people take their superstitions more seriously and avoid risks (e.g., It’s Friday the 13th, so I’m not going to apply for that job until tomorrow just in case.).

Friday the 13th is commonly bundled with other superstitions (e.g., Oh no, I saw a black cat today and it’s Friday the 13th!).

Due to the popularity of the film character Jason Voorhees, the term Friday the 13th is often used to refer to the movies and their horror tropes. For example, if a group of teenagers is camped out in the woods and hears a sound in the distance, one could say, “Be careful, this seems like a Friday the 13th situation.”

Fear of Friday the 13th is sometimes referred to as paraskevidekatriaphobia, which began as a deliberately fanciful coinage.

More examples of Friday the 13th:

“Art Bell, a self-proclaimed expert on the paranormal who hosted a popular syndicated radio show for decades, has died at the age of 72 — on Friday the 13th, appropriately enough.”
—Thom Geier, The Wrap, April 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use Friday in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Friday

/ (ˈfraɪdɪ, -deɪ) /

the sixth day of the week; fifth day of the working week

Word Origin for Friday

Old English Frīgedæg, literally: Freya's day; related to Old Frisian frīadei, Old High German frīatag
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 Friday


A native character in Robinson Crusoe, so named because Crusoe found him on a Friday. Friday places himself in service to Crusoe and helps him survive.

notes for Friday

Figuratively, a “man Friday” or “girl Friday” is a valued helper.
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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with Friday


see black Friday; girl Friday; thank god (it's Friday).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.