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Etymology edit

From Middle English Pentecoste, from Old English pentecosten, from Ecclesiastical Latin pentēcostē, ultimately from Ancient Greek πεντηκοστή (pentēkostḗ, fiftieth) in reference to the number of days. Cognate with pentecoster.

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Pentecost (plural Pentecosts)

  1. The Jewish festival of Shavuot.
    Synonyms: Feast of Weeks, Shavuos, Shavuot
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Acts 2:1:
      And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
    • 1854, Walter Farquhar Hook, A Church Dictionary:
      The first lesson for the morning contains the law of the Jewish Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, which was a type of ours.
    • 2005, Alfred J Kolatch, A Handbook for the Jewish Home:
      Because Shavuot is celebrated on the fiftieth day after the advent of Passover, it has been called Pentecost, a Greek word meaning “fiftieth [day]".
  2. The particular day of Pentecost, which in Christian teaching is said to have occurred fifty days (inclusive) after the resurrection of Jesus on the Day of First Fruits, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with miraculous effects including the ability to explain the Gospel intelligibly in languages they did not know; or a similar occasion since.
    • 1762, Voltaire, William Vade included in Works:
      He spoke either Latin or Welsh; and the Sicambri spoke the antient Teutonic. Remi, in all appearance, renewed the miracle of the Pentecost: Et unusquisquis intendebat linguam suam, And each understood his own language.
    • 1786, Joseph Priestley, An History of Early Opinions Concerning Jesus Christ: Compiled from Original Writers; Proving that the Christian Church was at first Unitarian:
      If it be supposed that the divinity of Christ was unknown to the apostles till the day of Pentecost ... we have no account of any such discovery having been made.
    • 2005, Frank J Lechner, John Boli, World Culture: Origins and Consequences:
      They think a new Pentecost is afoot, in which the Holy Spirit brings millions the good news of salvation in the hereafter and real blessings in the here and now.
  3. The Christian festival (also known as Whitsun or Whitsunday), which commemorates the day of Pentecost.
    Synonyms: Whit, Whitsun, Whitsunday, Whit Sunday
    • 1797, Richard Burn, Simon Fraser, Ecclesiastical Law:
      Spiritual profits, commonly called whitsun-farthings, ... offered at the time of pentecost.
    • 2005, Edward Kessler, Neil Wenborn, editors, A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations:
      Shavuot is linked to Passover in the same way that Pentecost is linked to Easter, by a period of seven weeks.
    • 2006, Alister E McGrath, Christianity: An Introduction:
      The specific event which is commemorated at Pentecost is the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is described in the Acts of the Apostles.
  4. Pentecostal manifestation, such as in a church service.
  5. A surname.

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Descendants edit

  • Japanese: ペンテコステ (Pentekosuto)
  • Maori: Petekoha

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Middle English edit

Proper noun edit


  1. Alternative form of Pentecoste