• synonyms


[mik-uh l-muh s]
noun Chiefly British.
  1. a festival celebrated on September 29 in honor of the archangel Michael.
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Origin of Michaelmas

before 1150; Middle English Mighelmes; Old English (Sanct) Michaeles masse (St.) Michael's mass
Also called Michaelmas Day.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for michaelmas

Historical Examples

  • He married Aldonza at Michaelmas, and all went well and peacefully in the household.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • This doctrine I have drawn out in my Sermon for Michaelmas day, written in 1831.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua

    John Henry Cardinal Newman

  • At one of the Michaelmas Trysts of Falkirk he sold 1500 cattle.

  • The price of cattle had fallen very much after the Michaelmas Tryst.

  • About Michaelmas they retire and are seen no more till March.

British Dictionary definitions for michaelmas


  1. Sept 29, the feast of St Michael the archangel; in England, Ireland, and Wales, one of the four quarter days
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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 michaelmas


early 12c., Sanct Micheles mæsse, the feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29, an English quarter-day), from Michael + mass (n.2). Goose is the day's traditional fare since at least 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper