hey·​day | \ ˈhā-ˌdā How to pronounce heyday (audio) \

Definition of heyday

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to express elation or wonder



Definition of heyday (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : high spirits
2 : the period of one's greatest popularity, vigor, or prosperity

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Did You Know?


In its earliest appearances in English, in the 16th century, "heyday" was used as an interjection that expressed elation or wonder (similar to our word hey, from which it derives). Around the same time, "heyday" saw use as a noun meaning "high spirits." (This sense can be seen in Act III, Scene IV of Hamlet, when the Prince of Denmark tells his mother, "You cannot call it love; for at your age / The heyday in the blood is tame….") It wasn’t until the 18th century that English speakers, perhaps interpreting the "day" of the second syllable to mean "a time or period," began using "heyday" to refer to the period when one’s achievement or popularity has reached its zenith.

Examples of heyday in a Sentence


in its heyday, the circus was a major form of entertainment for small-town America

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Although Apple dominated the space for digital music purchases in its heyday, streaming music companies have hurt iTunes’ business, pushing Apple to launch a subscription music service of its own, Apple Music, in 2015. Suhauna Hussain, latimes.com, "Apple replaces iTunes on Mac with three separate apps," 3 June 2019 Prime Target How Conservative members of Parliament could replace Theresa May Source: House of Commons Their modern heyday was under Margaret Thatcher, who won three back-to-back victories in 1979, 1983 and 1987. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Strife Over Europe Is the Source of Tory Turmoil—Again," 12 Dec. 2018 There are items for men and women, for design obsessives, and for those who have never encountered the Scotsman, whose heyday was a century ago. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson Is Obsessed With Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Soon You Will Be Too," 12 Nov. 2018 While Fantastic Beasts is going strong, the heyday of Harry Potter is behind us. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Johnny Depp Is Singlehandedly Tearing The Harry Potter World Apart," 22 Mar. 2018 Marc Benecke, the Studio’s original doorman, stood out front to first greet guests with the same cutthroat attitude of the heyday. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Ian Schrager Gives Advice on What Every Party Needs at the Studio 54 Documentary Premiere," 5 Oct. 2018 The soft-to-the-touch fabric immediately conjures an image of Juicy Couture's heyday. Ana Colon, Glamour, "19 Terry Cloth Fashion Pieces to Quench Your Summer Nostalgia," 27 July 2018 During the heyday of Chicago's Wax Trax! industrial scene in the late 80s and early 90s, Gossip Wolf was a pup still learning how to apply eyeliner. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Thirty years is a long time to live with a Thrill Kill Kult," 25 Apr. 2018 Shortly after, the shipyard produced about 40 Navy destroyers and employed 6,000 people during the heyday of production during World War II, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. Samantha Masunaga, latimes.com, "SpaceX gets approval to develop its BFR rocket and spaceship at Port of Los Angeles," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heyday.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of heyday


1599, in the meaning defined above


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heyday


irregular from hey

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hey cockalorum





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Time Traveler for heyday

The first known use of heyday was in 1590

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More Definitions for heyday



English Language Learners Definition of heyday

: the time when someone or something is most successful, popular, etc.


hey·​day | \ ˈhā-ˌdā How to pronounce heyday (audio) \

Kids Definition of heyday

: the time of greatest strength, popularity, or success

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More from Merriam-Webster on heyday

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heyday

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heyday

Spanish Central: Translation of heyday

Nglish: Translation of heyday for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heyday for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heyday

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


having a desire to acquire more things

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