leap year


(in the Gregorian calendar) a year that contains 366 days, with February 29 as an additional day: occurring in years whose last two digits are evenly divisible by four, except for centenary years not divisible by 400.
a year containing an extra day or extra month in any calendar.

Nearby words

  1. leap,
  2. leap day,
  3. leap in the dark,
  4. leap of faith,
  5. leap second,
  6. leapfrog,
  7. leapfrog test,
  8. leapt,
  9. lear,
  10. lear board

Compare common year.

Origin of leap year

1350–1400; Middle English lepe yere

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for leap year

British Dictionary definitions for leap year

leap year


a calendar year of 366 days, February 29 (leap day) being the additional day, that occurs every four years (those whose number is divisible by four) except for century years whose number is not divisible by 400. It offsets the difference between the length of the solar year (365.2422 days) and the calendar year of 365 days
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 leap year

leap year


late 14c., from leap (v.) + year. So called from its causing fixed festival days, which normally advance one weekday per year, to "leap" ahead one day in the week.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper