- (in the Christian religion) an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
Origin of Lent
Examples from the Web for lents
Historical Examples of lents
A monk reckons his monastic life by the number of Lents he has observed.A Civil Servant in Burma
Herbert Thirkel White
"No doubt you're right, Kass," Lents rumbled in a deep voice.
"We will not tell anyone what you said, child," Lents rumbled comfortingly.
"Flopping like a flapjack," Lents commented as he watched the shifting vista.
Lents raised his broad placid face from the pad upon which he had been figuring a complicated equation.
- the past tense and past participle of lend
- Christianity the period of forty weekdays lasting from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, observed as a time of penance and fasting commemorating Jesus' fasting in the wilderness
- (modifier) falling within or associated with the season before EasterLent observance
- (plural) (at Cambridge University) Lent term boat races
Word Origin for Lent
late 14c., short for Lenten (n.) "forty days before Easter" (early 12c.), from Old English lencten "springtime, spring," the season, also "the fast of Lent," from West Germanic *langa-tinaz "long-days" (cf. Old Saxon lentin, Middle Dutch lenten, Old High German lengizin manoth), from *lanngaz (root of Old English lang "long;" see long (adj.)) + *tina-, a root meaning "day" (cf. Gothic sin-teins "daily"), cognate with Old Church Slavonic dini, Lithuanian diena, Latin dies "day" (see diurnal).
the compound probably refers to the increasing daylight. Cf. similar form evolution in Dutch lente (Middle Dutch lentin), German Lenz (Old High German lengizin) "spring." Church sense of "period between Ash Wednesday and Easter" is peculiar to English.