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January

[jan-yoo-er-ee] /ˈdʒæn yuˌɛr i/
noun, plural Januaries.
1.
the first month of the year, containing 31 days.
Abbreviation: Jan.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English < Latin, noun use of Jānuārius, equivalent to Jānu(s) Janus + -ārius -ary; replacing Middle English Genever, Jeniver < Anglo-French, Old French Genever, Jenever < Latin, as above; replacing Old English Januarius < Latin
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for January

January

/ˈdʒænjʊərɪ/
noun (pl) -aries
1.
the first month of the year, consisting of 31 days
Word Origin
C14: from Latin Jānuārius, from adj: (month) of Janus1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for January
n.

late 13c., Ieneuer, from Old North French Genever, Old French Jenvier (Modern French Janvier), attested from early 12c. in Anglo-French, from Latin Ianuarius (mensis) "(the month) of Janus," to whom the month was sacred as the beginning of the year (see Janus; cf. Italian Gennajo, Provençal Genovier, Portuguese Janeiro). The form was gradually Latinized by c.1400. Replaced Old English geola se æfterra "Later Yule." In Chaucer, a type-name for an old man.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for January

first month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Janus, the Roman god of all beginnings. January replaced March as the first month of the Roman year no later than 153 BCE.

Learn more about January with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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