hol·​i·​day | \ˈhä-lə-ˌdā, British usually ˈhä-lə-dē\

Definition of holiday 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : holy day an important Muslim holiday

2 : a day on which one is exempt from work specifically : a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event will be closed for the July 4th holiday a national holiday plans for the holiday weekend

3 chiefly British : vacation often used in the phrase on holiday going on holiday often used in plural spent the summer holidays in Spain

4 : a period of exemption or relief corporations enjoying a tax holiday


holidayed; holidaying; holidays

Definition of holiday (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to take or spend a vacation or holiday (see holiday entry 1 sense 2) especially in travel or at a resort : vacation will holiday this year at the shore


biographical name
Hol·​i·​day | \ˈhä-lə-ˌdā \

Definition of Holiday (Entry 3 of 3)

Eleanora 1915–1959 Billie American jazz singer

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Other Words from holiday


holidayer noun

Synonyms for holiday

Synonyms: Noun

break, hols [British], leave, recess, vacation

Synonyms: Verb


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Examples of holiday in a Sentence


July 4 is a national holiday in the U.S. The stock market is closed tomorrow because it's a holiday. She'll have four weeks' holiday next year. We're planning on taking a holiday in the Caribbean.


She likes holidaying in the Caribbean. saw kangaroos while holidaying in Australia
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like most people, my holidays were filled with rituals of celebration. Dixie Lincoln-nichols, SELF, "5 Ways I Learned to Deal With Grief During the Holidays," 21 Nov. 2018 And, with the holiday season upon us, Netflix is on the verge of releasing some great original Christmas content. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here’s What’s Coming to/Leaving Netflix in November 2018," 24 Oct. 2018 The sprawling facility next to Fulton County’s Charlie Brown Field airport will begin operations Aug. 6 and gradually ramp up with the full building up and running by November — the start of the peak holiday shipping season. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "UPS hiring thousands of workers for massive hub on westside of Atlanta," 11 July 2018 The company is hiring employees to have a team in place for the start of peak holiday shopping season in November. Laura Gómez, azcentral, "UPS, Ball and Chewy are 3 companies bringing over 1,200 full-time jobs to Goodyear," 6 July 2018 Log in below for some great suggestions on how to use herbs this holiday season. Indianapolis Star, "DIY: The Herbs of Christmas," 5 July 2018 Use it to plan your holiday shopping and compare prices with other retailers. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "Amazon is kicking off November with daily discounts and a Black Friday deal preview," 5 Nov. 2018 Watch their reviews: The two new scents under the KKW Fragrance umbrella will go on sale at on Friday, November 2—just in time for some early holiday shopping. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Is Launching A Unisex KKW Body Fragrance for the Holidays," 29 Oct. 2018 Seventy percent of parents leave their children all alone to trick-or-treat, according to the industry, while more than half of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Seattle Times, "The Saturday Halloween Movement: A petition beseeches Trump to reschedule the spooky celebration," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The couple that holidays together must be real, right?! Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart's Relationship," 30 July 2018 The couple that holidays together must be real, right?! Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart's Relationship," 30 July 2018 Steve Paikin, a television host, told his fellow Canadians to holiday elsewhere. The Economist, "To resist Trump, Canadians try local ketchup," 5 July 2018 Shaw caused outrage this week when a picture of him holidaying in Ibiza appeared across social media., "Luke Shaw Determined to Prove Doubters Wrong as He Enters Final Year of Man Utd Contract," 1 July 2018 The hot weather likely drew a few pesky and uninvited guests to holiday picnics this past weekend. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "It's time to start thinking about mosquito deterrents," 29 May 2018 He was also mocked for dressing his family in Bollywood garb on a trip to India, and holidaying on a private Caribbean island. The Economist, "Anti-elitist politicians in Canada are courting immigrants," 19 Apr. 2018 Damon and Hemsworth are no strangers to holidaying together. Alexia Fernandez,, "Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon Celebrate Easter Together with Their Families in Australia," 2 Apr. 2018 Charles and his sons had been holidaying in Klosters just before the wedding and had posed for the annual photo call with the media, which none of them enjoys. Penny Junor, Vanities, "How Camilla Won Over the Queen and Became the Duchess of Cornwall," 28 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'holiday.' 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 holiday


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1869, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for holiday


Middle English, from Old English hāligdæg, from hālig holy + dæg day


see holiday entry 1

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Learn More about holiday

Dictionary Entries near holiday

hol hamoed





holiday disease

holiday flag

Statistics for holiday

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for holiday

The first known use of holiday was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for holiday



English Language Learners Definition of holiday

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a special day of celebration : a day when most people do not have to work



English Language Learners Definition of holiday (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spend a holiday in or at a particular place


hol·​i·​day | \ˈhä-lə-ˌdā \

Kids Definition of holiday

1 : a special day of celebration during which schools and businesses are often closed

2 chiefly British : vacation entry 1

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Comments on holiday

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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