follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

Lent

[lent] /lɛnt/
noun
1.
(in the Christian religion) an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English lente(n), Old English lencten, lengten spring, Lent, literally, lengthening (of daylight hours); cognate with Dutch lente, German Lenz spring; see Lenten
Related forms
post-Lent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for lents

lent

/lɛnt/
verb
1.
the past tense and past participle of lend

Lent

/lɛnt/
noun
1.
(Christianity) the period of forty weekdays lasting from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, observed as a time of penance and fasting commemorating Jesus' fasting in the wilderness
2.
(modifier) falling within or associated with the season before Easter: Lent observance
3.
(pl) (at Cambridge University) Lent term boat races
Word Origin
Old English lencten, lengten spring, literally: lengthening (of hours of daylight)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lents

Lent

n.

late 14c., short for Lenten (n.) "forty days before Easter" (early 12c.), from Old English lencten "springtime, spring," the season, also "the fast of Lent," from West Germanic *langa-tinaz "long-days" (cf. Old Saxon lentin, Middle Dutch lenten, Old High German lengizin manoth), from *lanngaz (root of Old English lang "long;" see long (adj.)) + *tina-, a root meaning "day" (cf. Gothic sin-teins "daily"), cognate with Old Church Slavonic dini, Lithuanian diena, Latin dies "day" (see diurnal).

the compound probably refers to the increasing daylight. Cf. similar form evolution in Dutch lente (Middle Dutch lentin), German Lenz (Old High German lengizin) "spring." Church sense of "period between Ash Wednesday and Easter" is peculiar to English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
lents in Culture

Lent definition


In Christianity, a time of fasting and repentance in the spring, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending several weeks later on Easter.

Note: To “give something up for Lent” is to abandon a pleasurable habit as an act of devotion and self-discipline.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Lent

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lents

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends