Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

January

play
noun Jan·u·ary \ˈjan-yə-ˌwer-ē, -ˌwe-rē\

Simple Definition of January

  • : the first month of the year

Full Definition of January

plural Jan·u·ar·ies or Jan·u·ar·ys

  1. :  the first month of the Gregorian calendar

Origin of january

Middle English Januarie, from Latin Januarius, 1st month of the ancient Roman year, from Janus


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with january

actuary, adversary, airy-fairy, ancillary, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, mercenary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, sedentary, seminary, silverberry, solitary, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry


JANUARY Defined for Kids

January

play
noun Jan·u·ary \ˈjan-yə-ˌwer-ē\

Definition of January

  1. :  the first month of the year



History for january

The Latin month name Januarius, from which we get the word January, was associated by the ancient Romans with their god Janus. Janus was a god of doorways and gates (in Latin, janua), and also of beginnings, so the name seems appropriate for the first month of the year. Curiously, however, the early Roman calendar began with March, not January, so the origin of the Latin name is somewhat mysterious.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up January? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ