hol·​i·​day | \ ˈhä-lə-ˌdā How to pronounce holiday (audio) , British usually ˈhä-lə-dē \

Definition of holiday

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

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

Other Words from holiday


holidayer noun

Synonyms for holiday

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of holiday in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb She likes holidaying in the Caribbean. saw kangaroos while holidaying in Australia See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moraira is the kind of small seaside resorts one dreams of for a holiday by the sea. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 15 May 2022 The data came just hours after China reported a steep drop in tourist spending for the Labor Day national holiday. Laura He, CNN, 5 May 2022 Defense Minister Benny Gantz said a temporary closing of crossings between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza in place for the two-day holiday would be extended until at least Sunday. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 Lema Afzal always gets in a festive mood for Eid—the celebration to close the month-long sunrise-to-sunset fast for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan—thanks in large part to her outfit. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 4 May 2022 Below, our guide to the best places for a decidedly un-Ozark holiday in the Ozarks. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 30 Apr. 2022 Already, Beijing has restricted inbound travel to insulate the capital from COVID-19 outbreaks in the provinces – and has discouraged its 21 million residents from leaving for the upcoming May Day holiday. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Apr. 2022 In an Instagram post, the Baywatch actress shared a series of photos of her and Jonas soaking up the sun for the spring holiday dressed for the occasion, with Chopra wearing a bright yellow ensemble and Jonas donning a patterned short-sleeve top. Shafiq Najib,, 21 Apr. 2022 The pontiff had just finished celebrating Easter Mass in the square packed by faithful for the holiday for the first time since the pandemic began in early 2020. Time, 17 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The surge came, worse than imagined, with Americans determined to holiday their way through the new year like the pandemic didn’t exist. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2021 For the world’s beleaguered airline industry, the measures give travelers yet another reason to think twice before taking to the skies and will probably end Britons’ plans of holidaying abroad this summer. James Ludden,, 12 May 2020 Morrison returned home early from holidaying in Hawaii ahead of Christmas following the death of two firefighters and amid criticism his government was doing too little to address climate change and a country-wide drought. NBC News, 29 Dec. 2019 Macey Ellison, 18, and her family, who were holidaying in Mallacoota, in the southeastern state of Victoria, took cover in a friend’s small boat for more than four hours as the fire threatened the town. Rachel Pannett, WSJ, 1 Jan. 2020 Check out the video above to see what makes some of your faves’ holidays the Blackest celebration of all time. Danielle Young, Essence, 24 Dec. 2019 Ticking off yet another Caribbean island, Queen Elizabeth II visited Mustique (where William and Kate are currently rumoured to be holidaying) with her sister Princess Margaret in 1977. Stephanie Petit,, 26 July 2019 The stimulus measures include incentives for Thais to holiday in their country, as well as extra support for farmers, small businesses and the poor. The Economist, 22 Aug. 2019 According to the Sun, the Derby County manager, who has been holidaying in France with his family, is set to meet Roman Abramovich on his yacht in St Tropez this week for contractual talks., 18 June 2019 See More

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.

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for holiday

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near holiday




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Statistics for holiday

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Holiday.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for holiday


hol·​i·​day | \ ˈhä-lə-ˌdā How to pronounce holiday (audio) \

Kids Definition of holiday

1 : a special day of celebration during which schools and businesses are often closed
2 chiefly British : vacation entry 1

Holiday biographical name

Hol·​i·​day | \ ˈhä-lə-ˌdā How to pronounce Holiday (audio) \

Definition of Holiday

Eleanora 1915–1959 Billie American jazz singer

More from Merriam-Webster on holiday

Nglish: Translation of holiday for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of holiday for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about holiday


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