noun \ˈlent\

: a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ

Full Definition of LENT

:  the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting

Origin of LENT

Middle English lente springtime, Lent, from Old English lencten; akin to Old High German lenzin spring
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Calendar Terms

antedate, estival, gloaming, luster, sesquicentennial


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the Christian church, a period of penitential preparation for Easter, observed since apostolic times. Western churches once provided for a 40-day fast (excluding Sundays), in imitation of Jesus' fasting in the wilderness; one meal a day was allowed in the evening, and meat, fish, eggs, and butter were forbidden. These rules have gradually been relaxed, and only Ash Wednesday—the first day of Lent in Western Christianity, when the penitent traditionally have their foreheads marked with ashes—and Good Friday are now kept as Lenten fast days. Rules of fasting are stricter in the Eastern churches.


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