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past tense and past participle of lend


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: the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting

Examples of lent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
While Lent is officially over – and there's no need to hide your meat from the Lord above – Rath plans on making maultaschen as a special. Keith Pandolfi, The Enquirer, 2 Apr. 2024 Holding a pilgrimage during Lent is significant as Holy Saturday is traditionally a day of lament within Christianity, according to organizers. Kori Skillman, ABC News, 31 Mar. 2024 In the early days of Lent – the time period of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter – meat was given up, as well as dairy products. USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024 During Lent, Simone prepares a weekly fish dinner smothered in a creamy sauce with a distinct hint of nutmeg, at her home in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a suburb southwest of the city. Shane Mitchell, Saveur, 28 Mar. 2024 During the Middle Ages, eggs became prevalent during the Easter holiday since Catholic Christians refrained from eating eggs during Lent, but indulged in them once Easter arrived. Sarah Mosqueda, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 But Lent said lawmakers are committed to finding ways to help school districts upgrade aging facilities and address maintenance problems. Becca Savransky, Idaho Statesman, 27 Mar. 2024 One explanation for it is that eggs were formerly forbidden to eat during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period and later eat them on Easter. Marina Johnson, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Mar. 2024 Something about the liturgical season of Lent seems effortful. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English lente springtime, Lent, from Old English lencten; akin to Old High German lenzin spring

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lent was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near lent

Cite this Entry

“Lent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lent. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a period of fasting and regret for one's sins that is observed on the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter by many churches

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