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Samhain

or Samain, samh'in

[sah-win] /ˈsɑ wɪn/
noun
1.
a festival of the ancient Celts, held around November 1 to celebrate the beginning of winter.
Origin of Samhain
1885-1890
1885-90; < Irish; Old Irish samain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Samhain
Historical Examples
  • As a magical aid the Samhain bonfire was chief, and it is still lit in the Highlands.

  • Ireland has a literature of Hallowe'en, or "Samhain," as it used to be called.

    The Book of Hallowe'en Ruth Edna Kelley
  • Samhain,892 beginning the Celtic year, was an important social and religious occasion.

  • "And it isn't just Samhain," said Kenny, setting down his glass.

    Kenny Leona Dalrymple
  • "It seems to me that to-night is Samhain night," said Caoilte.

    Gods and Fighting Men Lady I. A. Gregory
  • And any one that came to her house at Samhain time might stay till Beltaine, and have his choice then to go or to stay.

    Gods and Fighting Men Lady I. A. Gregory
  • Mother: I must make my feast all the same, for Samhain night is more to me than to any other one.

    Seven Short Plays Lady Gregory
  • The dates of these survivals may be explained by that dislocation of the Samhain festival already pointed out.

  • From the idea that the sun suffered from his enemies on this day grew the association of Samhain with death.

    The Book of Hallowe'en Ruth Edna Kelley
  • Child: It is a pity daddy to be away at the fair on a Samhain night.

    Seven Short Plays Lady Gregory
British Dictionary definitions for Samhain

Samhain

/ˈsɑːwɪn; ˈsaʊeɪn; ˈsaʊɪn/
noun
1.
an ancient Celtic festival held on Nov 1 to mark the beginning of winter and the beginning of a new year. It is also celebrated by modern pagans
Word Origin
from Irish, from Old Irish samain
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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Contemporary definitions for Samhain
noun

October 31, Halloween; a day of celebration for Wiccans and other pagans; also called November Eve , Hallowe'en , Feast of Souls , Feast of the Dead

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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Word Origin and History for Samhain
n.

1888, from Irish samhain (Gaelic samhuinn), from Old Irish samain, literally "summer's end," from Old Irish sam "summer" (see summer (n.1)) + fuin "end." Nov. 1, the Celtic festival of the start of winter and of the new year.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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