[ yool ]
/ yul /
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Definition of yule

Christmas, or the Christmas season.
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Origin of yule

First recorded before 900; Middle English yole, Old English geōl, geol(a) “Christmas day, Christmastide”; cognate with Old Norse jōl, the name of the pagan winter feast lasting 12 days, later applied to Christmas; akin to Gothic jiuleis


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does yule mean?

The word yule can be used as another name for Christmas, the Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

However, yule can also refer to the celebration of the Winter Solstice that’s observed in some Pagan traditions.

Like the word Christmas, yule can also be used to refer to the Christmas season—Christmastime. Another word for this is yuletide.

When they’re used in reference to Christmas, the terms yule and yuletide are often intended to sound a bit old-timey—yuletide carols being sung by a choir, and all that.

Example: I like to spend Yule sitting by the hearth, listening to tales of winters gone by.

Where does yule come from?

The first records of the word yule come from before 900. It comes from Old English geōl, meaning “Christmas day” or “Christmastide” (a word for the period from Christmas Eve to related feast days in early January). This term is related to the Old Norse jōl, the name of the Pagan winter feast lasting 12 days whose name was later applied to Christmas. (Though yuletide has the same ending as Christmastide, yuletide is typically used to refer to the general season of Christmastime, as opposed to a specific period starting on Christmas Eve.)

Many of the customs of the Pagan feast of yule influenced the ways that Christmas is celebrated, such as the tradition of burning a yule log at Christmastime.

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How is yule used in real life?

Yule is often used as an old-fashioned word for Christmas, but it can also refer to the celebration of the Winter Solstice.


Try using yule!

Is yule used correctly in the following sentence? 

I love all of our yule traditions, but decorating the house with greens is my favorite.

How to use yule in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for yule

/ (juːl) /

(sometimes capital) literary, archaic, or dialect
  1. Christmas, the Christmas season, or Christmas festivities
  2. (in combination)yuletide

Word Origin for yule

Old English geōla, originally a name of a pagan feast lasting 12 days; related to Old Norse jōl, Swedish jul, Gothic jiuleis
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