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

Definition of heyday

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Definition of heyday (Entry 2 of 2)

used to express elation or wonder

Keep scrolling for more

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

Noun in its heyday, the circus was a major form of entertainment for small-town America
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In his heyday, during the 1970s and 1980s, crime and court reporting in San Antonio were everything, headlines and rack cards were lurid and sensational, and reporters often played hard and fought the competition even harder. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "Clements led ink-stained troops in newspaper war," 20 Apr. 2020 Brown stood 6-5 during his heyday, on the knees of a man decades older. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "How the grandsons of Pacers legend Roger Brown uncovered his legacy," 10 Apr. 2020 Where the members of the Rat Pack had availed themselves of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas nightlife during their heyday, Dion had taken advantage of the stability that a residency offers. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Rat Pack to Fame Monster: The Rise, Fall and Lucrative Rebirth of the Las Vegas Residency," 28 Jan. 2020 These ladies, during their heydays, managed to always look completely put-together, yet appearing effortless at the same time. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Bieber Captures the Chicest Off-Duty Look in Off-White," 19 Dec. 2019 With a personal style that seems permanently connected to his 1970s heyday, he was known for wearing dark tinted glasses and a bolo pendant tied low around his neck, often over an open-necked shirt or white turtleneck sweater. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Robert Evans, Producer of Godfather Movies and Chinatown, Dies," 28 Oct. 2019 In its heyday, the museum was said to contain at least one example of every Pez candy dispenser available. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: New website takes us back in time in San Carlos," 20 Sep. 2019 Moro's has been a mainstay of Allen Park's retro downtown since 1980, when Thomas Moro, who had trained at the legendary Mario's Restaurant in Detroit during its mid-century heyday, opened this ode to classic tableside service and Italian fare. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "These are 9 definitive Downriver dining destinations," 6 Sep. 2019 In its brief heyday, which only lasted from 1877 to 1882, Bodie had more than 8,000 residents and boasted 60 saloons and 30 mines. Doug Hansen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Warm-weather adventures at Mammoth," 26 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of heyday


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heyday


irregular from hey

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heyday

Time Traveler for heyday

Time Traveler

The first known use of heyday was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about heyday

Statistics for heyday

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heyday.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heyday. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heyday


How to pronounce heyday (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on heyday

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heyday

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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