\ˈyir \

Definition of year 

1a : the period of about 3651/4 solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun

b : the time required for the apparent sun to return to an arbitrary fixed or moving reference point in the sky

c : the time in which a planet completes a revolution about the sun two Mercury years

2a : a cycle in the Gregorian calendar of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning with January and ending with December

b : a period of time equal to one year of the Gregorian calendar but beginning at a different time

3 : a calendar year specified usually by a number died in the year 1900

4 years plural : a time or era having a special significance their glory years

5a : 12 months that constitute a measure of age or duration her 21st year often used in combination a year-old child

b years plural : age wise beyond her years also : the final stage of the normal life span

6 : 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

By comparison, about 480,000 to 540,000 people die in the US every year due to cigarettes, about 88,000 due to alcohol, and between 3,000 and 49,000 due to the flu. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Criminal profiling doesn’t work. TV shows should maybe stop celebrating it.," 12 Nov. 2018 Harvick has been in NASCAR’s finale three of the last four years. Jenna Fryer, The Seattle Times, "Harvick’s championship berth spoiled by NASCAR inspectors," 7 Nov. 2018 More than 37,000 people die on US roads each year, and drivers under the age of 25 are well represented in the annual tabulations. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Forget lap times; this car control class makes teen drivers safer," 6 Nov. 2018 For me there were about five to six years of paying dues. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "Zeeko Zaki Finally Gets to Play the Good Guy," 29 Oct. 2018 Besides her mother, grandmother, aunts, and sister (who all received it in the first year of her reign), new in-laws typically wait years before receiving it themselves. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The First Photos of Kate Middleton Wearing an Special Honor From the Queen Are Breathtaking," 24 Oct. 2018 More than two years after a mass shooting at a Central Florida nightclub, survivors and victims' families are still left with questions. Shannon Butler And Jason Kelly, ajc, "Pulse shooting victim's mother pressing for FBI ballistics report," 13 July 2018 Wilcox estimates a working hypersonic weapon is still five to 10 years away. David Martin, CBS News, "Inside the global race to develop hypersonic weapons," 13 July 2018 Victor had an amazing year, and the sky's the limit for him. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "IU's Jared Jeffries loves Oladipo, Miller; not high on PG, Crean," 13 July 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for year

Middle English yere, from Old English gēar; akin to Old High German jār year, Greek hōros year, hōra season, hour

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Statistics for year

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for year

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

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More Definitions for year



Financial Definition of year

What It Is

In the business world, a year is a 12-month period, four-quarter period, or 13-period stretch of time. It is not always 365 days long, though it is usually very close to that. In business, note that a fiscal year does not always go from January 1 to December 31; many companies have fiscal years beginning at other times.

How It Works

Years are important because they create time frames for comparing information. For example, let's assume Company XYZ's fiscal year began on January 1 and that today is March 31. During this time, Company XYZ recorded the following:

By comparing the 2012 revenues with the 2011 revenues, we can calculate that Company XYZ was up 50% year over year.

Why It Matters

Yearly information is useful in looking for trends or measuring performance against goals. Remember, though that comparing year-over-year information among companies with different fiscal-year start dates can distort an analysis: The time included may vary and seasonal factors may become skewed. It is also important to remember that the extra day in leap years may also distort comparisons.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of year

: a unit of time that is equal to 12 months or 365 or sometimes 366 days

: the regular period of 12 months that begins in January and ends in December

—used to refer to the age of a person


\ˈyir \

Kids Definition of year

1 : the period of about 365¹/₄ days required for the earth to make one complete trip around the sun

2 : a period of 365 days or in leap year 366 days beginning January 1

3 : a fixed period of time the school year

4 : the age of a person a six-year old

5 : a long time We've been standing in line for a year.

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Comments on year

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