: the period of about 3651/4 solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun
: the time required for the apparent sun to return to an arbitrary fixed or moving reference point in the sky
: the time in which a planet completes a revolution about the sun
two Mercury years
: a cycle in the Gregorian calendar of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning with January and ending with December
: a period of time equal to one year of the Gregorian calendar but beginning at a different time
: a calendar year specified usually by a number
died in the year 1900
years plural : a time or era having a special significance
their glory years
: 12 months that constitute a measure of age or duration
her 21st year
The twins are two years old.
often used in combination
two-year-old twins
a six-year-old dog
The winner is a 16-year-old from Kentucky.
years plural : age
wise beyond her years
also : the final stage of the normal lifespan
: a period of time (such as the usually 9-month period in which a school is in session) other than a calendar year

Examples of year in a Sentence

I haven't seen her in a year. He quit smoking six years ago. The job pays $45,000 a year. She renews her lease every year. We see them once or twice a year. It feels like we've been standing in line for a year. That team hasn't won in years. It's been years since I've been on an airplane. The work should be done by the end of the year. She was born in the year 1967.
Recent Examples on the Web According to Casamigos cofounder Rande Gerber, this new expression has been six years in the making, but the details are pretty slim. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 8 Apr. 2024 A couple of musicians will appear in the film, too, with Halsey making her second big-screen appearance (following last year’s crime film Americana) and Moses Sumney making his film debut after appearing in mini-series The Idol. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2024 Ballerini and Stokes made their red carpet debut at last year's CMT Music Awards. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 8 Apr. 2024 Social media platforms have been widely viewed as a catalyst for riots in Brazil that took place on January 8 last year, when hundreds of protesters broke into federal government buildings in the capital Brasilia, in scenes reminiscent of the January 6, 2021, insurrection in the United States. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 8 Apr. 2024 Laube agreed last year to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for the beating of the journalist. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 His predecessor at Daihatsu resigned after the allegations of widespread cheating on safety testing surfaced last year. Yuri Kageyama, Quartz, 8 Apr. 2024 The president's original loan forgiveness proposal—which would have canceled around $10,000 for many student loan borrowers—was struck down by the Supreme Court last year. Bo Erickson, CBS News, 8 Apr. 2024 The April 7 series finale, which wrapped 12 seasons and 24 years of the unscripted HBO comedy, sees Larry on trial for accidentally breaking a Georgia voting law. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 8 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'year.' 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 yere, from Old English gēar; akin to Old High German jār year, Greek hōros year, hōra season, hour

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of year was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near year

Cite this Entry

“Year.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the period of about 365¼ days required for the earth to make one complete trip around the sun
: a period of 365 days or in leap year 366 days beginning January 1
: a period of time usually shorter than a calendar year
a school year of nine months
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!