Easter

Easter

[ee-ster]
noun
1.
an annual Christian festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, as calculated according to tables based in Western churches on the Gregorian calendar and in Orthodox churches on the Julian calendar.
2.
Also called Easter Sunday. the day on which this festival is celebrated.
3.
the Easter season; the week following Easter.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English ester, Old English ēastre; cognate with German Ostern; orig. name of a goddess and her festival; akin to east

post-Easter, adjective
pre-Easter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
Easter (ˈiːstə)
 
n
1.  the most important festival of the Christian Church, commemorating the Resurrection of Christ: falls on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox
2.  Easter Sunday, Also called: Easter Day the day on which this festival is celebrated
3.  the period between Good Friday and Easter Monday
 
Related: paschal
 
[Old English ēastre, after a Germanic goddess Eostre; related to Old High German ōstarūn Easter, Old Norse austr to the east, Old Slavonic ustru like summer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Easter
O.E. Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for
their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pasche to name this holiday.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Easter definition


An important religious festival among Christians; it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus after his Crucifixion. Easter is celebrated on a Sunday in spring, and the season of Easter, a time of rejoicing, continues for several weeks. The penitential season of Lent is a time of preparation for Easter.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Easter definition


originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occured at the time of the Passover. In the early English versions this word was frequently used as the translation of the Greek pascha (the Passover). When the Authorized Version (1611) was formed, the word "passover" was used in all passages in which this word pascha occurred, except in Act 12:4. In the Revised Version the proper word, "passover," is always used.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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