[ rahm-uh-dahn, rahm-uh-dahn, ram-uh-dan ]


, Islam.
  1. the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
  2. the festival celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, commemorating the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad: observed with strict fasting from dawn till sunset and, often, feasting and festivities after sunset.


/ ˌræməˈdɑːn; ˌræməˈzɑːn /


  1. the ninth month of the Muslim year, lasting 30 days, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset
  2. the fast itself
“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


  1. A holy month in Islam ; the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Devout Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset during each day of Ramadan.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Ramadan1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Arabic ramaḍān, from ramaḍ “dryness, scorchedness,” from ramiḍa “to become intensely hot, be scorched”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of Ramadan1

C16: from Arabic, literally: the hot month, from ramad dryness
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Example Sentences

Cases fell but then began to rise again in April, as families in the Muslim-majority country gathered for Ramadan and new variants of the virus spread.

Palestinians have traditionally gathered at the historic Damascus Gate of the Old City after breaking their evening fasts during Ramadan.

From Ozy

Adnan Khan, who spent 16 years incarcerated in a county jail and three state prisons in California before being released in 2019, recalls food frequently coming at the wrong time during Ramadan.

From Time

In late April, Israeli authorities announced a decision to barricade Damascus Gate, a popular meeting and gathering point for East Jerusalemites, especially in Ramadan.

From Time

Meanwhile, for folks waiting on their vaccine appointments, this Ramadan doesn’t look that different from 2020’s Zoom iftars and socially distant food exchanges.

From Eater

When the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began, in late June, Lawand was allowed to leave the prison.

Sheikh Raad al-Khafaji had invited me to break the Ramadan fast in the headquarters of his recruiting operation.

Since this hearing was taking place during Ramadan, many of the Muslims had been fasting since sunrise.

Muslims observe a month-long day fast for Ramadan and Jews go a full day for the High Holy Day, Yom Kippur.

When Ramadan fasting began, the militants bombed the gas and electricity lines to keep people from cooking.

The day after his arrival chanced to be the last of the great Mohammedan feast of the Ramadan.

It was the month of Ramadan, the great fast, and any one who failed to keep it strictly was punishable by death.

Early in Ramadan he fell sick, and soon became dangerously ill.

In Annam the Ramadan lasts only three days, though the priests observe the fast for the full prescribed month.

The weather was hot, and our people suffering from thirst, as Ramadan had that day commenced.


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More About Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which many Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset each day.

The word Ramadan is also used to refer to this daily fast.

During Ramadan, Muslims who fast start the day by eating a meal, called suhoor, before sunrise. The fast is then broken every night after sunset with a meal called iftar. The strictness of the fast varies among Muslims, and not every Muslim fasts during Ramadan. Children, elderly people, and people who have a health condition or are sick or pregnant are not required to fast, and often eat and drink during the day.

Along with the daily fast and other forms of abstinence, many Muslims observe Ramadan by praying, attending services at their mosque, trying to give up bad habits, and performing charitable acts.

The day after Ramadan ends, the festival known as Eid-al-fitr begins. Its name means “festival of the breaking of the fast.”

One traditional greeting for Ramadan is Ramadan Mubarak, roughly meaning “Happy Ramadan” or “Blessed Ramadan.”

When is Ramadan?

In 2024, Ramadan begins on March 1o at sunset and ends on April 9. In 2025, Ramadan will begin on February 28 and end on March 29.

Ramadan always lasts either 29 or 30 days, because it’s based on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar. Because of that, the dates during which it is observed vary from year to year.

What is the origin of Ramadan?

The first records of the word Ramadan in English come from the 1500s. It comes from the Arabic word ramaḍān, literally meaning “the hot month,” from ramad, meaning “dryness.” However, Ramadan isn’t tied to a particular season. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar that consists of 354 days, so its 12 months slowly cycle through different seasons.

The tradition of fasting during Ramadan is done in commemoration of the story of the Qur’an (the sacred text of Islam) being revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Ramadan?

How is Ramadan discussed in real life?

While Ramadan is a time of fasting, Muslims often look forward to it as a time of religious and cultural importance.

Try using Ramadan!

True or False?

Ramadan always lasts for 30 days.