leap year


Definition of leap year

1 : a year in the Gregorian calendar containing 366 days with February 29 as the extra day
2 : an intercalary year in any calendar

Examples of leap year in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One way to think about it is that the leap year system allows all those troublesome partial days to add up for three years and then groups them together to create a February 29. Washington Post, "Ever wondered why the calendar is so weird?," 17 Jan. 2021 Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise alums JJ Lane and Kayla Hughes skipped the traditions and unlucky superstitions associated with leap years and decided to tie the knot on Saturday, February 29, in downtown Denver. Moná Thomas, refinery29.com, "Two Former Bachelor In Paradise Contestants Got Married On Leap Day & No, It’s Not Good Luck," 1 Mar. 2020 Goodin called me at The Courier Journal with her leap year birthstory in the weeks leading up to Brohm's first true birthday in four years. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "These 64-year-old Louisville natives are finally celebrating their 'Sweet 16' on Leap Day," 25 Feb. 2020 The earlier-than-usual spring is the result of leap years and the subtle impacts that the extra days have on the timing of Earth’s orbits. NBC News, "Why the Northern Hemisphere is about to have its earliest spring in 124 years," 18 Mar. 2020 Typically, leap years are skipped on century years, but in 2000 — a century year divisible by 400 — February 29 was kept on the calendar. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "This year's equinox is March 19 — the earliest it's happened since 1896," 6 Mar. 2020 Therefore, 2000 was a leap year while 1900 wasn't, for example. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Arizona's spring weather outlook for 2020: Here's what you can look forward to," 22 Mar. 2020 So every year that is exactly divisible by 4 is a leap year, in which a 29th day is added to February. Los Angeles Times, "Spring starts Thursday with the vernal equinox. What does that mean?," 18 Mar. 2020 Nighttown will host a leap year dance party on Saturday, Feb. 29, hosted by Neil Slobin, who will spin a mix of motown, funk, soul, disco and R&B all night long. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "16 things to do in Cleveland on Saturday, Feb. 29," 29 Feb. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for leap year

Time Traveler

The first known use of leap year was in the 14th century

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Statistics for leap year

Last Updated

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leap year.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap%20year. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for leap year

leap year


English Language Learners Definition of leap year

: a year of 366 days instead of 365 with February having 29 days instead of 28

leap year


Kids Definition of leap year

: a year of 366 days with February 29 as the extra day

More from Merriam-Webster on leap year

Nglish: Translation of leap year for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about leap year

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