[lam-uh s]


a former festival in England, held on August 1, in which bread made from the first harvest of corn was blessed.
a festival (Feast of St. Peter's Chains) observed by Roman Catholics on August 1, in memory of St. Peter's imprisonment and his miraculous deliverance.

Origin of Lammas

before 900; Middle English Lammesse, Old English hlāmmæsse, hlāfmæsse. See loaf1, Mass
Also called Lammas Day. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lammas

Historical Examples of lammas

  • The weather had been abnormally dry, and there might after all be no Lammas floods.

  • Beyond all else, she was interested in the procession of ghosts on Lammas Eve.

  • The Lammas rights of the parishioners, with respect to this land, are now extinct.


    George Bryan

  • "This beats the Lammas flood o' '68," said the landlord, as he led the way to supper.

  • If you time your visit between Maunday and Lammas, you obtain fourteen thousand years' pardon.

    Robert Annys: Poor Priest

    Annie Nathan Meyer

British Dictionary definitions for lammas



RC Church Aug 1, held as a feast, commemorating St Peter's miraculous deliverance from prison
Also called: Lammas Day the same day formerly observed in England as a harvest festival. In Scotland Lammas is a quarter day

Word Origin for Lammas

Old English hlāfmæsse loaf mass
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 lammas



Aug. 1 harvest festival with consecration of loaves, Old English hlafmæsse, literally "loaf mass," from hlaf (see loaf (n.)) + mæsse (see mass (n.2)). Altered by influence of lamb (and occasionally spelled lamb- in 16c.-17c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper