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See more synonyms for holiday on Thesaurus.com
  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).
  3. a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.: New businesses may be granted a one-year tax holiday.
  4. a religious feast day; holy day, especially any of several usually commemorative holy days observed in Judaism.
  5. Sometimes holidays. Chiefly British. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.
  6. an unintentional gap left on a plated, coated, or painted surface.
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  1. of or relating to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.
  2. suitable for a holiday: holiday attire.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Chiefly British. to vacation: to holiday at the seaside.
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Origin of holiday

before 950; Middle English; Old English hāligdæg. See holy, day
Related formspre·hol·i·day, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for holidaying

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was a letter from his wife now holidaying at the Neuk Hydropathic.


    John Buchan

  • It was the day before Christmas, I remembered, and people would be holidaying.


    John Buchan

  • Hunters fraternize in friendship at holidaying; but they no more tell each other secrets than rival editors at a banquet.

  • There is another lie about not holidaying West, which is not only persistent but cruel.

British Dictionary definitions for holidaying


  1. Billie. real name Eleanora Fagan; known as Lady Day. 1915–59, US jazz singer
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  1. (often plural) mainly British
    1. a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreationUS and Canadian word: vacation
    2. (as modifier)a holiday mood
  2. a day on which work is suspended by law or custom, such as a religious festival, bank holiday, etcRelated adjective: ferial
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  1. (intr) mainly British to spend a holiday
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Word Origin

Old English hāligdæg, literally: holy day
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 holidaying



1500s, earlier haliday (c.1200), from Old English haligdæg "holy day; Sabbath," from halig "holy" (see holy) + dæg "day" (see day); in 14c. meaning both "religious festival" and "day of recreation," but pronunciation and sense diverged 16c. As a verb meaning "to pass the holidays" by 1869.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with holidaying


see busman's holiday.

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