Jan·​u·​ary ˈjan-yə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce January (audio)
plural Januaries or Januarys
: the first month of the Gregorian calendar

Examples of January in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The show's 21st season debuted in January and halted on April 28, after 13 episodes had aired. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 14 Sep. 2023 She's also commemorated his life on social media and honored Saget with a poignant tribute onstage at The Comedy Store in January 2022. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 14 Sep. 2023 Mohave County Sheriff's officials said remains of a man between 30 and 40 years old were discovered near Kingman in January 1996. CBS News, 13 Sep. 2023 The latest summit on the topic in Washington, D.C., followed a similar one in January 2022 at the White House. James Rundle, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2023 She got accepted to Western Kentucky University, but dropped out when I was born, in January 1985. Jenisha Watts, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2023 The percentage difference between the two is the amount of the COLA, which would be payable for the check received in January 2024. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2023 From January 2020 to June 2022, the company, which uses a third-party online management review interface, chose to have all five-star reviews (the best rating) posted on its website with little scrutiny. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2023 Many groups had already started doing so before the county stopped routinely covering the costs of laboratory testing in January, the department said. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'January.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of January was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near January

Cite this Entry

“January.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/January. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


Jan·​u·​ary ˈjan-yə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce January (audio)
: the first month of the year

from Latin Januarius "first month of the year," from Janus, a Roman god

Word Origin
Among the many gods worshipped by the ancient Romans was one named Janus. He was believed to have two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Janus was associated with doors, gates, and all beginnings. Because of that, when the Romans changed their calendar and added two months to the beginning of the year, they named the first one Januarius to honor Janus. The English January comes from Latin Januarius.

More from Merriam-Webster on January

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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