Definition of heyday
—used to express elation or wonder
heyday was our Word of the Day on 02/01/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Origin and Etymology of heyday
irregular from hey
First Known Use: 1599See Words from the same year
Definition of heyday
1 archaic : high spirits
2 : the period of one's greatest popularity, vigor, or prosperity
Examples of heyday in a Sentence
in its heyday, the circus was a major form of entertainment for small-town America
Recent Examples of heyday from the Web
A handful of participants had attended in its heyday, and most were white men old enough to have done so.
In their heyday, 1955, the Big Three in Detroit held over 90 percent of market share according to the Federal Reserve of Chicago.
In their heyday most did double duty as live venues for the likes of Judy Garland and Louis Armstrong, and not much has changed.
Though some African-American publications, including the Chicago Defender, wrote of the Pekin in its heyday, others did not.
By then, however, the park was already beginning to struggle, coming off its heyday in the late 1970s when 400,000 guests visited a year.
A big challenge has been that the cachet of club membership is no longer enough to entice people to join, and few employers pay membership dues, as was standard in the club heyday.
But America is now a century or more past its managerial revolution—the heyday of the proprietary firm is gone, displaced by the corporate bureaucracy.
In its heyday, coal mining accounted for nearly 400,000 jobs (to be precise: 388,000 in 1950).
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.
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.
First Known Use of heyday
HEYDAY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of heyday for English Language Learners
: the time when someone or something is most successful, popular, etc.
HEYDAY Defined for Kids
Definition of heyday for Students
: the time of greatest strength, popularity, or success
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