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Sunday

1
[ suhn-dey, -dee ]
/ ˈsʌn deɪ, -di /
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noun
the first day of the week, observed as the Sabbath by most Christian sects.
adjective
of, relating to, or characteristic of Sunday.
used, done, taking place, or being as indicated only on or as if on Sundays: a Sunday matinée.

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Idioms about Sunday

    a month of Sundays, an indeterminately great length of time: She hadn't taken a vacation in a month of Sundays.

Origin of Sunday

1
before 900; Middle English sun(nen)day, Old English sunnandæg, translation of Latin diēs sōlis, itself translation of Greek hēméra hēlíou day of the sun; cognate with German Sonntag

OTHER WORDS FROM Sunday

Sun·day·like, adjective

Other definitions for Sunday (2 of 2)

Sunday2
[ suhn-dey, -dee ]
/ ˈsʌn deɪ, -di /

noun
William Ashley [ash-lee], /ˈæʃ li/, "Billy Sunday", 1862–1935, U.S. evangelist.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

BEHIND THE WORD

What does Sunday mean?

Sunday is the day between Saturday and Monday.

In North and South America, most countries (including the U.S. and Canada) consider the calendar week to begin on Sunday, making it the first day of the week. In other places, including in much of Europe and Asia, the week is considered to begin on Monday, making Sunday the seventh and final day of the week. In parts of the Middle East and other places, the week is considered to begin on Saturday, making Sunday the second day of the week.

Regardless of when the week officially begins, in many places Sunday is considered (along with Saturday) one of the two days that make up the weekend, during which many people do not work. In contrast, the other five days, Monday through Friday, are considered weekdays, which make up the workweek (or school week). In this sense, Sunday is not considered a weekday but a weekend day. 

Many people’s favorite day is Saturday because it’s the official start of the weekend, with another weekend day ahead of it—Sunday. Sunday is often enjoyed as a day of recreation and rest (some people call it Sunday Funday). But it comes with a catch: it’s followed by Monday, which is famously disliked due to being the first day of the workweek. (This feeling of dread over the weekend ending is sometimes called the Sunday scaries.)

The word Sundays can be used as an adverb meaning every Sunday or on Sundays, as in I work Sundays or The shop is closed Sundays. 

To indicate the general time of day during which something will happen on a Sunday, the word can be followed by the general time, as in Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, and Sunday night. 

Example: Sundays are bittersweet—I like relaxing, but in the back of my mind I’m worrying about the coming workweek.

Where does Sunday come from?

The first records of the word Sunday come from before 900. It comes from the Middle English sun(nen)day, from the Old English sunnandæg. This is a translation of the Latin diēs sōlis, which itself is a translation of Greek hēméra hēlíou, “day of the Sun.”

Sunday is named after the sun thanks to the ancient Babylonians. The Babylonian civilization is the first one known to use a seven-day week. They named each of the seven days after planets and other celestial bodies. The two most visible ones got top billing, with the day we call Sunday being named after the sun and the day after—what we call Monday—being named after the moon. When the Romans adopted this model of naming the days for celestial bodies, they used their term for the sun, sōlis.

In Christianity, Sunday is a day of rest and worship—the Christian Sabbath day. Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday and the day is sometimes called Easter Sunday.

The expression a month of Sundays is an exaggerated way of saying a very long time.

If you’re curious to know more about the history behind the word Sunday, just read our article on the name’s fascinating origins.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to Sunday?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Sunday

What are some words that often get used in discussing Sunday?

How is Sunday used in real life?

Sunday is often considered a day of rest, and, for some, recreation. Some people treat it as another weekend day just like Saturday, while others start winding down in preparation for the workweek. Still others do a mix of both.

 

Try using Sunday!

Which celestial body is Sunday named for?

  1. the moon
  2. the sun
  3. Mars
  4. Mercury

How to use Sunday in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Sunday

Sunday
/ (ˈsʌndɪ, -deɪ) /

noun
the first day of the week and the Christian day of worship

Word Origin for Sunday

Old English sunnandæg, translation of Latin diēs sōlis day of the sun, translation of Greek hēmera hēliou; related to Old Norse sunnu dagr, German Sonntag
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with Sunday

Sunday

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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