See also: easter

English edit

Etymology edit

The noun is derived from Middle English Ester, from Old English ēastre, seemingly from Ēastre, a proposed Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn whose festival is thought to have been celebrated around the vernal equinox. Further from Proto-West Germanic *Austrā, from Proto-Germanic *Austrǭ, derived from either Proto-Indo-European *h₂ews- (dawn; east)[1] or, more semantically plausible, from *austrą, *auzrą, a metathesized form of *wazrą (spring (season)), *-ǭ, from Proto-Indo-European *wósr̥ (spring).

The English word is cognate with German Low German Oostern (Easter), Old High German ōstarūn (modern German Ostern) and is possibly a doublet of east. Despite a modern folk etymology, not related to Ishtar.

The verb is derived from the noun.[2]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

Easter (countable and uncountable, plural Easters)

  1. (Christianity)
    1. A Christian feast commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, celebrated on the first Sunday (and Monday) following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox, ranging in most of Western Christianity (such as Protestantism and Roman Catholicism) from March 22 to April 25, and in Eastern Christianity (such as the Coptic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church) from April 4 to May 8.
      We spent each of the past five Easters together as a family.
      • 2022 April 15, Anne Applebaum, Jeffrey Goldberg, quoting Volodymyr Zelensky, “LIBERATION WITHOUT VICTORY”, in The Atlantic[1], archived from the original on 15 April 2022:
        During the Easter season, the Russians are planning “a great battle in Donbas,” the Russian-occupied region in Ukraine’s far east. “This is not Christian behavior at all, as I understand it. On Easter they will kill, and they will be killed.”
    2. Eastertide (the period from Easter to Whitsun).
    3. (specifically, Roman Catholicism, dated, now chiefly figuratively) Usually preceded by an inflection of make: the act of receiving the Eucharist during Easter.
  2. (UK, Ireland, law, education) Ellipsis of Easter term.
  3. (paganism) A festival held in honour of the goddess Eostre or Ostara, celebrated at the vernal equinox or within the month of April; Eostre, Ostara.
  4. (obsolete) The Jewish Passover.

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Chickasaw: Iista'

Translations edit

See also edit

Proper noun edit


  1. A surname.

Verb edit

Easter (third-person singular simple present Easters, present participle Eastering, simple past and past participle Eastered)

  1. (intransitive) To celebrate Easter.
  2. (intransitive) To spend the Easter season in some place.

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Compare Easter, n.1”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; Easter, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ Easter, v.2”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2018.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit