[ hol-i-dey ]
See synonyms for holiday on
  1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.

  2. any day of exemption from work (distinguished from working day).

  1. a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.: New businesses may be granted a one-year tax holiday.

  2. a religious feast day; holy day, especially any of several usually commemorative holy days observed in Judaism.

  3. Sometimes holidays. Chiefly British. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.

  4. an unintentional gap left on a plated, coated, or painted surface.

  1. of or relating to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.

  2. suitable for a holiday: holiday attire.

verb (used without object)
  1. Chiefly British. to vacation: to holiday at the seaside.

Origin of holiday

First recorded before 950; Middle English; Old English hāligdæg; equivalent to holy + day

Other words for holiday

Other words from holiday

  • pre·hol·i·day, adjective

Words Nearby holiday

Other definitions for Holiday (2 of 2)

[ hol-i-dey ]

  1. Billie "Lady Day", 1915–59, U.S. jazz singer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use holiday in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for holiday (1 of 2)


/ (ˈhɒlɪˌdeɪ, -dɪ) /

  1. (often plural) mainly British

    • a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation: US and Canadian word: vacation

    • (as modifier): a holiday mood

  2. a day on which work is suspended by law or custom, such as a religious festival, bank holiday, etc: Related adjective: ferial

  1. (intr) mainly British to spend a holiday

Origin of holiday

Old English hāligdæg, literally: holy day

British Dictionary definitions for Holiday (2 of 2)


/ (ˈhɒlɪˌdeɪ) /

  1. Billie. real name Eleanora Fagan; known as Lady Day. 1915–59, US jazz singer

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with holiday


see busman's holiday.

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