date

1 of 3

noun (1)

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

date

2 of 3

noun (2)

1
a
: the time at which an event occurs
the date of his birth
on this date in history
see also date of birth
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 sweetRebecca P. Parkin
3
: the period of time to which something belongs
a style from a later date
4
a
: 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
see also blind date sense 1
b
: a person with whom one has a usually romantic date
bringing a date to the dance
see also blind date sense 2
5
: an engagement for a professional performance (as of a dance band)
concert dates

date

3 of 3

verb

dated; dating

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
3
a
: 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
datable adjective
or less commonly dateable
dater noun
Phrases
to date
: up to the present moment
her best album to date

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

Noun (2) I have a date to meet my financial consultant at seven o'clock the embarrassingly short date of most of his romances 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The event has raised more than $115 million to date, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes in Denver. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 July 2024 The dates for Charles and Camilla’s trip will be revealed nearer the time. Simon Perry, Peoplemag, 15 July 2024 The trick to being a great performer is knowing how to handle the unexpected, which is what Taylor Swift had to do when her piano malfunctioned at a recent Eras Tour date in Europe. Christian Holub, EW.com, 15 July 2024 The painting’s new date, 1935, was the year when Kahlo had had enough. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for date 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French (also continental Old French), borrowed (with -il perhaps taken as a suffix) from Old Occitan datil, going back to Latin dactylus "dactyl in verse, kind of date" — 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

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near date

Cite this Entry

“Date.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/date. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

date

1 of 3 noun
1
: the oblong edible fruit of a tall Old World palm
2
: the palm that produces dates

called also date palm

date

2 of 3 noun
1
a
: the time at which an event occurs
b
: a statement giving the time of doing or making (as of a coin or check)
2
3
: the period of time to which something belongs
4
a
: appointment sense 3
especially : a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character
b
: a person with whom one has a social engagement

date

3 of 3 verb
dated; dating
1
: to record the date of or on
date a letter
2
: to show or find out the date, age, or period of
date an antique
3
: to make or have a date with
4
a
: to come into existence : originate
dates from the 1400s
b
: to go as far back
dating back to childhood
5
: to show plainly the age of
decor that really dates the house
datable adjective
also dateable
dater noun
Etymology

Noun

Middle English date "fruit of the palm," from early French date (same meaning), derived from Latin dactylus "date," from Greek daktylos "date," literally, "finger"

Noun

Middle English date "time of an event," from early French date (same meaning), derived from Latin data (Romae) "given (at Rome)," a phrase used in putting the date on documents, derived from dare "to give" see Word History at 1date

Word Origin
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, originally meaning "finger" and "toe." No one knows just how the fruit came to be called by the word for finger. It may be because of its size and shape or because of the slender shape of the palm leaves. Or it may be that daktylos was the closest Greek word to the word for the fruit borrowed from another language. The word for "the time of an event" comes from Latin, but the Latin word did not mean either "day" or "time." Date derives from the Latin phrase data Romae, meaning "given at Rome," an expression used before the date on letters and documents. The word data is 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on date

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!