• synonyms


[hwit-suhn-dey, -dee, wit-; hwit-suh n-dey, wit-]
  1. the seventh Sunday after Easter, celebrated as a festival in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
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Origin of Whitsunday

before 1100; Middle English whitsonenday, Old English Hwīta Sunnandæg white Sunday; probably so called because the newly baptized wore white robes on that day
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whitsunday

Historical Examples

  • Such were the doings on that Whitsunday in Wexford (27th May).

    William Pitt and the Great War

    John Holland Rose

  • Sunday, which was Whitsunday, found us quite amazed at our performance.

  • Becket was ordained priest and consecrated on Whitsunday, 1162.

    Life of Thomas Becket

    Henry Hart Milman

  • Gie him a cuff at Martinmas, and his cheek will be tingling at Whitsunday.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

    Sir Walter Scott

  • That is the spirit we pray for and can expect to receive on Whitsunday.

    Nine O'Clock Talks

    Frederic B. Kellogg

British Dictionary definitions for whitsunday


  1. (in Scotland) May 15, 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 whitsunday


"Pentecost," late Old English Hwita Sunnandæg "white Sunday," possibly from the white baptismal robes worn by newly baptized Christians on this day.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper