noun (1)
\ ˈdāt How to pronounce date (audio) \

Definition of date

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the brown, oblong edible fruit of a palm (Phoenix dactylifera) cookies with raisins and chopped dates
2 : the tall palm with pinnate leaves that yields the date


noun (2)

Definition of date (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the time at which an event occurs the date of his birth on this date in history
b : a statement of the time of execution (see execution sense 1) or making the date on the letter
2 : duration the short date of all things sweet— Rebecca P. Parkin
3 : the period of time to which something belongs a style from a later date
4a : an appointment to meet at a specified time set up a date with her lawyer especially : a social engagement (see engagement sense 1a) between two persons that often has a romantic character asked her out on a date
b : a person with whom one has a usually romantic date bringing a date to the dance
5 : an engagement for a professional performance (as of a dance band) concert dates
to date
: up to the present moment her best album to date


dated; dating

Definition of date (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to determine the period of time to which something belongs : to determine the date (see date entry 2 sense 3) of date an antique dated the fossils to the Triassic period
2 : to record the time of the execution or making of : mark with the date forgot to date the check a letter dated the fifth of September
3a : to mark with characteristics typical of a particular period
b : to show up plainly the age of old-fashioned decor that really dates the house
4 : to make a usually romantic social arrangement to meet with : to have a date with someone she dated in high school

intransitive verb

1 : to estimate or compute a date (see date entry 2 sense 3) or chronology : to reckon chronologically scientific dating techniques
2 : originate a friendship dating from college days jewelry dating back to the 1700s
3 : to become outmoded or dated
4 : to go out on usually romantic dates wasn't allowed to date until she was sixteen

Other Words from date


datable or less commonly dateable \ ˈdā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce date (audio) \ adjective
dater \ ˈdā-​tər How to pronounce date (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for date

Synonyms: Noun (2)

Synonyms: Verb

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Did you know?

The word date that means “the fruit of the palm” and the word date that means “the time of an event” look alike, but they are not related. The word for the fruit can be traced back to the Greek word daktylos, meaning “finger” and “toe.” No one knows why the fruit was called by the word for finger—perhaps because of its small size and shape or the long, slender shape of the palm’s leaves. The word for “the time of an event” comes from Latin and derives from the Latin phrase data Romae, meaning “given at Rome,” an expression used before the date on letters and documents. The word data comes from the Latin word dare, “to give.” In later Latin, the word data came to be used alone to stand for the date, and it came into English as date.

Examples of date in a Sentence

Verb She dated a couple guys during college. He only dates younger women. They've been dating for six months. Don't forget to sign and date the application. The letter was not dated. a memo dated July 12th, 2003 Historians date the document to the early 1700s. The ancient building was dated by a coin found in one of the rooms. Scientists use various techniques to date fossils. See More

First Known Use of date

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for date

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, ultimately from Latin dactylus — more at dactyl

Noun (2) and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin data, from data (as in data Romae given at Rome), feminine of Latin datus, past participle of dare to give; akin to Latin dos gift, dowry, Greek didonai to give

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The first known use of date was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Date.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for date


\ ˈdāt How to pronounce date (audio) \

Kids Definition of date

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the sweet brownish fruit of an Old World palm ( date palm )



Kids Definition of date (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the day, month, or year on which an event happens or happened What is your date of birth?
2 : a statement of time on something (as a coin, letter, book, or building) Write the date on your paper.
3 : appointment sense 1 Louis paid no attention to the other birds. He had a date to keep.— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
4 : an arrangement to meet between two people usually with romantic feelings for each other It's not a date—we're just friends.
5 : either of two people who meet for a usually romantic social engagement Do you have a date for the dance?


dated; dating

Kids Definition of date (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to write the date on Be sure to date the letter.
2 : to find or show the date or age of Scientists dated the fossil.
3 : to belong to or have survived from a time My house dates from colonial times.
4 : to make or have a date with I'm dating him tonight.
5 : to go together regularly on romantic social engagements They've been dating for a year.

More from Merriam-Webster on date

Nglish: Translation of date for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of date for Arabic Speakers


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