View synonyms for year


[ yeer ]


  1. a period of 365 or 366 days, in the Gregorian calendar, divided into 12 calendar months, now reckoned as beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31 calendar year, or civil year. Compare common year, leap year.
  2. a period of approximately the same length in other calendars.
  3. a space of 12 calendar months calculated from any point:

    This should have been finished a year ago.

  4. Astronomy.
    1. Also called lunar year. a division of time equal to 12 lunar months.
  5. the time in which any planet completes a revolution round the sun:

    the Martian year.

  6. a full round of the seasons.
  7. a period out of every 12 months, devoted to a certain pursuit, activity, or the like:

    the academic year.

  8. years,
    1. old age:

      a man of years.

    2. time; period:

      the years of hardship and frustration.

    3. an unusually long period of time of indefinite length:

      I haven't spoken to them in years.

  9. a group of students entering school or college, graduating, or expecting to graduate in the same year; class.


/ jɪə /


  1. Also calledcivil year the period of time, the calendar year , containing 365 days or in a leap year 366 days. It is based on the Gregorian calendar, being divided into 12 calendar months, and is reckoned from January 1 to December 31
  2. a period of twelve months from any specified date, such as one based on the four seasons
  3. a specific period of time, usually occupying a definite part or parts of a twelve-month period, used for some particular activity

    a school year

  4. Also calledastronomical yeartropical year the period of time, the solar year , during which the earth makes one revolution around the sun, measured between two successive vernal equinoxes: equal to 365.242 19 days
  5. the period of time, the sidereal year , during which the earth makes one revolution around the sun, measured between two successive conjunctions of a particular distant star: equal to 365.256 36 days
  6. the period of time, the lunar year , containing 12 lunar months and equal to 354.3671 days
  7. the period of time taken by a specified planet to complete one revolution around the sun

    the Martian year

  8. plural age, esp old age

    a man of his years should be more careful

  9. plural time

    in years to come

  10. a group of pupils or students, who are taught or study together, divided into classes at school

    they are the best year we've ever had for history

  11. the year dot informal.
    as long ago as can be remembered
  12. year and a day
    English law a period fixed by law to ensure the completion of a full year. It is applied for certain purposes, such as to determine the time within which wrecks must be claimed
  13. year in, year out
    regularly or monotonously, over a long period

Discover More


In writing spans of years, it is important to choose a style that avoids ambiguity. The practice adopted in this dictionary is, in four-figure dates, to specify the last two digits of the second date if it falls within the same century as the first: 1801–08; 1850–51; 1899–1901 . In writing three-figure bc dates, it is advisable to give both dates in full: 159–156 bc , not 159–56 bc unless of course the span referred to consists of 103 years rather than three years. It is also advisable to specify bc or ad in years under 1000 unless the context makes this self-evident

Discover More

Other Words From

  • multi·year adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of year1

First recorded before 900; Middle English yeer, Old English gēar; cognate with Dutch jaar, German Jahr, Old Norse ār, Gothic jēr, Greek hôros “year,” hṓrā “season, part of a day, hour”

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of year1

Old English gear; related to Gothic jēr, Old Saxon, Old High German jār, Old Norse ār year, Polish jar springtime, Latin hōrnus of this year

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. a year and a day, a period specified as the limit of time in various legal matters, as in determining a right or a liability, to allow for a full year by any way of counting.
  2. from the year one, for a very long time; as long as anyone remembers:

    He's been with the company from the year one.

  3. year in and year out, regularly through the years; continually: Also year in, year out.

    Year in and year out they went to Florida for the winter.

More idioms and phrases containing year

In addition to the idiom beginning with year , also see all year round ; along in years ; by the day (year) ; donkey's years .

Discover More

Example Sentences

The Singapore launch was pegged for the first half of this year, pushed back due to coronavirus.

From Digiday

The University of Washington’s Institute on Health Metrics estimates that there will be nearly 413,000 deaths by the end of the year.

To best compare today’s StarTech to its past versions, I look at its metrics on September 30 each year from 2015 to 2019, and those numbers as of September 15 of this year.

From Fortune

No chief executive “should sit in their chair for dozens of years,” she says.

From Fortune

Today’s announcements won’t hit the Pro, which got an update earlier in the year.

However, more than 20 players on the ballot this year were probably worthy of being enshrined in Cooperstown.

The influential al Qaeda propagandist, who was born in New Mexico, died in a U.S. drone strike later that year.

Eric Garcetti succeeded Villaraigosa and has received high marks in his first year and a half on the job.

Grindr introduced the feature themselves in October the same year and called it ‘tribes.’

In the last year, her fusion exercise class has attracted a cult following and become de rigueur among the celebrity set.

In the year of misery, of agony and suffering in general he had endured, he had settled upon one theory.

The great plague of this and the subsequent year broke out at St. Giles, London.

Twice a year the formal invitation was sent out by the old nobleman to his only son, and to his two nephews.

After about the forty-fifth year it becomes gradually less; after seventy-five years it is about one-half the amount given.

The clink of the stone-masons' chisels had resounded year after year from morning till night.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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