February

noun Feb·ru·ary \ ˈfe-b(y)ə-ˌwer-ē , ˈfe-brə- \

Definition of February

plural Februaries or Februarys
: the second month of the Gregorian calendar

How do you pronounce february?

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.


Origin and Etymology of february

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

Other Calendar Terms


FEBRUARY Defined for English Language Learners

February

noun

Definition of February for English Language Learners

  • : the second month of the year


FEBRUARY Defined for Kids

February

noun Feb·ru·ary \ ˈfe-byə-ˌwer-ē , ˈfe-brə- , ˈfe-bə- \

Definition of February for Students

: the second month of the year

History for february

In the ancient Roman calendar March was originally the first month of the year and hence February was the last. The last weeks of the year were a time when people made up for their wrongdoing to the gods and purifications were performed. These rituals were called februa in Latin, and from them the month took its name, Februarius. English has taken the name from Latin.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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