a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.
any day of exemption from work (distinguished from working day ).
a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.: New businesses may be granted a one-year tax holiday.
a religious feast day; holy day, especially any of several usually commemorative holy days observed in Judaism.
Sometimes, holidays. Chiefly British. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.
an unintentional gap left on a plated, coated, or painted surface.
of or pertaining to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.
suitable for a holiday: holiday attire.
verb (used without object)
Chiefly British. to vacation: to holiday at the seaside.

before 950; Middle English; Old English hāligdæg. See holy, day

preholiday, adjective

2. vacation, break. Unabridged


Billie ("Lady Day") 1915–59, U.S. jazz singer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
holiday (ˈhɒlɪˌdeɪ, -dɪ)
1.  chiefly (Brit) (often plural)
 a.  US and Canadian word: vacation a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation
 b.  (as modifier): a holiday mood
2.  a day on which work is suspended by law or custom, such as a religious festival, bank holiday, etcRelated: ferial
3.  chiefly (Brit) (intr) to spend a holiday
Related: ferial
[Old English hāligdæg, literally: holy day]

Holiday (ˈhɒlɪˌdeɪ)
Billie. real name Eleanora Fagan; known as Lady Day. 1915--59, US jazz singer

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

O.E. haligdæg, from halig "holy" + dæg "day;" in 14c. meaning both "religious festival" and "day of recreation," but pronunciation and sense diverged 16c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see busman's holiday.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(from "holy day"), originally, a day of dedication to religious observance; in modern times, a day of either religious or secular commemoration. Many holidays of the major world religions tend to occur at the approximate dates of more ancient, pagan festivals. In the case of Christianity, this is sometimes owing to the policy of the early church of scheduling Christian observances at dates when they would eclipse pagan ones-a practice that proved more efficacious than merely prohibiting the earlier celebrations. In other cases, the similarity of the date is due to the tendency to celebrate turning points of the seasons, or to a combination of the two factors

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for holiday
This makes alex very wary and no longer able to enjoy the holiday.
She has a drunken snog herself with tony whilst on holiday in marbella.
Nine games were designed and released for the holiday season.
On the actual holiday thousands from all around watch the fireworks display.
Idioms & Phrases
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