New Year's

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How do other people in other parts of the world celebrate their New Year? Here are a couple of celebrations we love!

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does New Year’s mean?

New Year’s can refer to either New Year’s Eve (December 31) or New Year’s Day (January 1).

If someone asks you what you’re doing for New Year’s, they probably want to know what you’re doing on New Year’s Eve, which is traditionally a time for parties and counting down to the New Year.

Sometimes, the term can be used in a casual, general way to refer to the short period of time spanning the end of the year and the beginning of the new one, as in I’ll be on vacation through New Year’s and back in the office on January 4. 

New Year’s can also be used in other phrases relating to the New Year, as in a quiet New Year’s morning. A New Year’s resolution is a decision to do something or make some change starting in the New Year (especially to change or start some habit or behavior).

In the U.S., New Year’s is part of what’s known as the holiday season (sometimes called the holidays)—the period that starts on Thanksgiving and continues until New Year’s Day and includes the holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve.

The term New Year commonly refers to the first day or the first few days of a new year starting on January 1, but it’s also used in the context of the beginnings of years that are based on other calendars, such as a Lunar New Year. For example, the Chinese New Year and the Jewish New Year are both based on lunar calendars. Still, the term New Year’s typically refers to the days of or around December 31 and January 1.

Example: I like to have a low-key New Year’s—I just stay in and cook a nice meal and usually fall asleep before midnight.

Where does New Year’s come from?

The term New Year’s has been by itself used as a noun since at least the 1800s. It is a shortening of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, both of which are much older—New Year’s Day is first recorded in the 1100s and New Year’s Eve is first recorded in the 1300s. In New Year’s Eve, the word eve refers to the day or night before a holiday, as in the night before New Year’s Day (it’s used the same way in Christmas Eve).

When the clock changes from 11:59 p.m. on December 31 to midnight on January 1, New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day and a new year begins. Often, when people ask you what you’re doing for New Year’s, they want to know what you’ll be doing at this exact time, and New Year’s is an easy way to say it.

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What are some synonyms for New Year’s?

What are some words that share a root or word element with New Year’s

What are some words that often get used in discussing New Year’s?

How is New Year’s used in real life?

New Year’s perhaps most commonly refers to New Year’s Eve. New Year’s is known as the end of the holiday season in the U.S.



Try using New Year’s!

Is New Year’s used correctly in the following sentence? 

Do you have a date for New Year’s yet?