[ week ]
/ wik /
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a period of seven successive days: That wallpapering I thought I could do in two days ended up taking me a whole week.
the period of seven days from Sunday through Saturday, generally understood as the common representation of a week on a calendar: The 1st of next month is a Tuesday, so the first full week will begin on the 6th.
a period of seven successive days that begins with or includes an indicated day: the week of June 3; Christmas week.
(often initial capital letter) a period of seven successive days devoted to a particular celebration, honor, cause, etc.: National Book Week.
the working days or working portion of the seven-day period; workweek: Not all American workers put in the same number of hours on the job, but a 40-hour week is the norm.
British. seven days before or after a specified day: I shall come Tuesday week. He left yesterday week.


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Origin of week

First recorded before 900; Middle English weke, Old English wice; cognate with Dutch week, Old Norse vika “week,” Gothic wikō “turn”; akin to Latin vicis (genitive) “turn” (see vice3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does week mean?

Week most generally refers to any period of seven consecutive days.

The word week also commonly refers to the seven-day period that begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday (though in some places this may be different, with the week considered to begin on Monday, for example). There are 52 of these weeks in a calendar year.

Sometimes, the word week is used to refer to a seven-day period that begins or includes a specific day, as in the week of September 5 or Thanksgiving week. 

It can also be used to refer to a seven-day period dedicated to a specific cause or cultural observation, as in National Grief Awareness Week.

The word week is also often used to refer to the workweek (or schoolweek) to distinguish this span of (often five) days from the weekend. The standard workweek is from Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being considered the weekend, though working schedules vary widely. Many full-time jobs consist of a 40-hour week (five eight-hour days).

The days within this five-day span are called weekdays, and the evenings of those days are called weeknights. The middle of the week is called midweek.

The word weekly most commonly means done or happening once a week or every week, as in a weekly meeting. 

Example: They said it would take a week to get a reply, and it’s been six days already, so I’m hoping for a response tomorrow.

Where does week come from?

The first records of the word week come from before the 900s. It’s related to the Latin vicis, meaning “turn.” The week as a unit of time is very old, dating back at least to Sumerian and Babylonian cultures, which both used a seven-day unit of time. The seven-day week appears in the Biblical account of creation.

The rarely used word yesterweek means the same thing as yesterday but for a week. More commonly, we just say last week (or the past week). The week equivalent of tomorrow is next week (or the coming week). To refer to the current week, we say this week. 

Speakers of British English sometimes use week as an adverb meaning “a week before or after the day,” as in She visited yesterday week (a week from yesterday), or We’ll be publishing it Thursday week (a week from Thursday).

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How is week used in real life?

Week is one of the basic units that we use to measure time, along with seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years. It is an extremely common word—there is no other common word to refer to a seven-day unit of time.


Try using week!

True or False? 

The word week can sometimes refer to a five-day period.

How to use week in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for week

/ (wiːk) /

a period of seven consecutive days, esp one beginning with SundayRelated adjective: hebdomadal
a period of seven consecutive days beginning from or including a specified dayEaster week; a week from Wednesday
the period of time within a week devoted to work
a week devoted to the celebration of a cause
mainly British seven days before or after a specified dayI'll visit you Wednesday week

Word Origin for week

Old English wice, wicu, wucu; related to Old Norse vika, Gothic wikō order
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