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leap year

(in the Gregorian calendar) a year that contains 366 days, with February 29 as an additional day: occurring in years whose last two digits are evenly divisible by four, except for centenary years not divisible by 400.
a year containing an extra day or extra month in any calendar.
Compare common year.
Origin of leap year
1350-1400; Middle English lepe yere Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for leap-year
Historical Examples
  • It was leap-year when I was there—and seventeen young widows—the wives of a deceased Mormon—offered me their hearts and hands.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)
  • The year that receives the extra day is called, as you know, leap-year.

  • The one thousand nine hundred and fourth year was a leap-year.

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto Ivy Kellerman Reed
  • Every year of which the figure is divisible by four is a leap-year.

    Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion
  • In answer to the question, “Why two dominical letters for leap-year?”

    Our Calendar George Nichols Packer
  • It is not leap-year which is occupying our thoughts down here.

    Diplomatic Days Edith O'Shaughnessy
  • Well, this is leap-year, and I will not see you sacrificed to your own timidity.

    The Blunders of a Bashful Man Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
  • Sometimes, as a tremendous joke, the ladies come for us in leap-year.

    Indian Summer William D. Howells
  • In leap-year the 25th was reckoned as the extra day in February.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
  • Julius Cæsar gave to February 29 days in common years, and in leap-year 30.

    Our Calendar George Nichols Packer
British Dictionary definitions for leap-year

leap year

a calendar year of 366 days, February 29 (leap day) being the additional day, that occurs every four years (those whose number is divisible by four) except for century years whose number is not divisible by 400. It offsets the difference between the length of the solar year (365.2422 days) and the calendar year of 365 days
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
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Word Origin and History for leap-year

leap year


late 14c., from leap (v.) + year. So called from its causing fixed festival days, which normally advance one weekday per year, to "leap" ahead one day in the week.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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