1 [deyt]
a particular month, day, and year at which some event happened or will happen: July 4, 1776 was the date of the signing of the declaration of independence.
the day of the month: Is today's date the 7th or the 8th?
an inscription on a writing, coin, etc., that shows the time, or time and place, of writing, casting, delivery, etc.: a letter bearing the date January 16.
the time or period to which any event or thing belongs; period in general: at a late date.
the time during which anything lasts; duration: The pity is that childhood has so short a date.
an appointment for a particular time: They have a date with their accountant at ten o'clock.
a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person: to go out on a date on Saturday night.
a person with whom one has such a social appointment or engagement: Can I bring a date to the party?
an engagement for an entertainer to perform.
dates, the birth and death dates, usually in years, of a person: Dante's dates are 1265 to 1321.
verb (used without object), dated, dating.
to have or bear a date: The letter dates from 1873.
to belong to a particular period; have its origin: That dress dates from the 19th century. The architecture dates as far back as 1830.
to reckon from some point in time: The custom dates from the days when women wore longer skirts.
to go out socially on dates: She dated a lot during high school.
verb (used with object), dated, dating.
to mark or furnish with a date: Please date the check as of today.
to ascertain or fix the period or point in time of; assign a period or point in time to: The archaeologist dated the ruins as belonging to the early Minoan period.
to show the age of; show to be old-fashioned.
to make a date with; go out on dates with: He's been dating his best friend's sister.
to date, up to the present time; until now: This is his best book to date.
up to date, in agreement with or inclusive of the latest information; modern: Bring us up to date on the news.

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin data, noun use of data (feminine of datus, past participle of dare to give), from the phrase data (Romae) written, given (at Rome); (v.) Middle English daten to sign or date a document, derivative of the noun

datable, dateable, adjective
datableness, dateableness, noun
dater, noun
undatable, adjective
undateable, adjective Unabridged


2 [deyt]
the oblong, fleshy fruit of the date palm, a staple food in northern Africa, Arabia, etc., and an important export.

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French dade, date < Medieval Latin datil(l)us (> Old Provençal, Catalan, Spanish datil) < Latin dactylus; see dactyl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
date1 (deɪt)
1.  a specified day of the month: today's date is October 27
2.  the particular day or year of an event: the date of the Norman Conquest was 1066
3.  (plural) the years of a person's birth and death or of the beginning and end of an event or period
4.  an inscription on a coin, letter, etc, stating when it was made or written
5.  a.  an appointment for a particular time, esp with a person to whom one is sexually or romantically attached: she has a dinner date
 b.  the person with whom the appointment is made
6.  the present moment; now (esp in the phrases to date, up to date)
7.  (tr) to mark (a letter, coin, etc) with the day, month, or year
8.  (tr) to assign a date of occurrence or creation to
9.  (intr; foll by from or back to) to have originated (at a specified time): his decline dates from last summer
10.  (tr) to reveal the age of: that dress dates her
11.  to make or become old-fashioned: some good films hardly date at all
12.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian)
 a.  to be a boyfriend or girlfriend of (someone of the opposite sex)
 b.  to accompany (a member of the opposite sex) on a date
[C14: from Old French, from Latin dare to give, as in the phrase epistula data Romae letter handed over at Rome]

date2 (deɪt)
1.  the fruit of the date palm, having sweet edible flesh and a single large woody seed
2.  short for date palm
[C13: from Old French, from Latin, from Greek daktulos finger]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"time," early 14c., from O.Fr. date, from M.L. data, noun use of fem. sing. of L. datus "given," pp. of dare "to give, grant, offer," from PIE base *do- "to give" (cf. Skt. dadati "gives," O.Pers. dadatuv "let him give," O.C.S. dati "give," Gk. didomi, didonai, "to give, offer," O.Ir. dan "gift, talent").
The Roman convention of closing every article of correspondence by writing "given" and the day and month -- meaning "given to messenger" -- led to data becoming a term for "the time (and place) stated." Dated "old-fashioned" is attested from 1900.

"fruit," late 13c., from O.Fr. date, from O.Prov. datil, from L. dactylus, from Gk. daktylos "date," orig. "finger, toe," because of fancied resemblance between oblong fruit of the date palm and human digits. Possibly from a Sem. source (cf. Heb. deqel, Aram. diqla, Arabic daqal "date palm") and assimilated
to the Gk. word for "finger."

"romantic liaison," 1885, gradually evolving from date (1) in its general sense of "appointment;" the verb in this sense is first recorded 1902. Meaning "person one has a date with" is from 1925.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

date definition

convention, data
A string unique to a time duration of 24 hours between 2 successive midnights defined by the local time zone. The specific representation of a date will depend on which calendar convention is in force; e.g., Gregorian, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew etc. as well as local ordering conventions such as UK: day/month/year, US: month/day/year.
Inputting and outputting dates on computers is greatly complicated by these localisation issues which is why they tend to operate on dates internally in some unified form such as seconds past midnight at the start of the first of January 1970.
Many software and hardware representations of dates allow only two digits for the year, leading to the year 2000 problem.
Unix manual page: date(1), ctime(3).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Bible Dictionary

Date definition

the fruit of a species of palm (q.v.), the Phoenix dactilifera. This was a common tree in Palestine (Joel 1:12; Neh. 8:15). Palm branches were carried by the Jews on festive occasions, and especially at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with date also see bring up to date; double date; make a date; out of date; to date; up to date.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
For this point must be borne constantly in mind-the money spent to date was spent with a view only to strategy.
So ask a reindeer what time of year it is, and it may be able to give you the date.
The projected completion date has been pushed back for decades.
Her anticipation doubles as the weeks close in on the pub date.
Image for date
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