See also: Holiday


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From Middle English halyday, holyday, halidei, haliȝdei, from Old English hāliġdæġ (holy day, Sabbath), equivalent to holy +‎ day. Cognate with West Frisian hjeldei (holiday), Danish helligdag (holiday), Norwegian helligdag (holiday), Swedish helgdag (holiday, feast).


  • (file)
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhɒlɪdeɪ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhɑləˌdeɪ/
  • (file)


holiday (plural holidays)

  1. A day on which a festival, religious event, or national celebration is traditionally observed.
    Today is a Wiccan holiday!
  2. A day declared free from work by the state or government.
  3. (chiefly Britain) A period of one or more days taken off work for leisure and often travel; often plural (US English: vacation).
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or [] . And at last I began to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion was futile, and to take such holidays as I could get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of thankfulness.
  4. (chiefly Britain) (US English: vacation) A period during which pupils do not attend their school; often plural; rarely used for students at university (usually: vacation).
    I want to take a French course this summer holiday.
  5. A gap in coverage, e.g. of paint on a surface, or sonar imagery.[1]


  • (day on which a festival, etc, is traditionally observed): feast day (celebratory religious event)
  • (day declared free from work by the government): bank holiday (UK), national holiday
  • (period of one or more days taken off work by an employee for leisure): leave, time off
  • (period taken off work or study for travel): vacation (US)
  • (gap in coverage): lacuna

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


holiday (third-person singular simple present holidays, present participle holidaying, simple past and past participle holidayed) (chiefly Britain)

  1. To take a period of time away from work or study.
  2. (Britain) To spend a period of time for travel.



  1. ^ Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: June 26, 2007).


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of halyday