Feb·​ru·​ary | \ ˈfe-b(y)ə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce February (audio) , ˈfe-brə- How to pronounce February (audio) \
plural Februaries or Februarys

Definition of February

: the second month of the Gregorian calendar

How do you pronounce February?: Usage Guide

Dissimilation may occur when a word contains two identical or closely related sounds, resulting in the change or loss of one of them. This happens regularly in February, which is more often pronounced \ˈfe-b(y)ə-ˌwer-ē\ than \ˈfe-brə-ˌwer-ē\, though all of these variants are in frequent use and widely accepted. The \y\ heard from many speakers is not an intrusion but rather a common pronunciation of the vowel u after a consonant, as in January and annual.

First Known Use of February

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for February

Middle English Februarie, from Old English Februarius, from Latin, from Februa, plural, feast of purification

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about February

Time Traveler for February

Time Traveler

The first known use of February was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for February

Cite this Entry

“February.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/February. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for February


How to pronounce February (audio) How to pronounce February (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of February

: the second month of the year


Feb·​ru·​ary | \ ˈfe-byə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce February (audio) , ˈfe-brə-, ˈfe-bə- \

Kids Definition of February

: the second month of the year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on February

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with February

Spanish Central: Translation of February

Nglish: Translation of February for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of February for Arabic Speakers

Comments on February

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!