a period of seven successive days, usually understood as beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday.
a period of seven successive days that begins with or includes an indicated day: the week of June 3; Christmas week.
(often initial capital letter) a period of seven successive days devoted to a particular celebration, honor, cause, etc.: National Book Week.
the working days or working portion of the seven-day period; workweek: A 35-hour week is now commonplace.
British. seven days before or after a specified day: I shall come Tuesday week. He left yesterday week.

before 900; Middle English weke, Old English wice; cognate with Dutch week, Old Norse vika week, Gothic wikō turn; akin to Latin vicis (genitive) turn (see vice3)

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
week (wiːk)
1.  a period of seven consecutive days, esp one beginning with SundayRelated: hebdomadal
2.  a period of seven consecutive days beginning from or including a specified day: Easter week; a week from Wednesday
3.  the period of time within a week devoted to work
4.  a week devoted to the celebration of a cause
5.  chiefly (Brit) seven days before or after a specified day: I'll visit you Wednesday week
Related: hebdomadal
[Old English wice, wicu, wucu; related to Old Norse vika, Gothic wikō order]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wice, from P.Gmc. *wikon (cf. O.N. vika, O.Fris. wike, M.Du. weke, O.H.G. wecha, Ger. woche), probably originally with the sense of "a turning" or "succession" (cf. Goth. wikon "in the course of," O.N. vika "sea-mile," originally "change of oar," O.E. wican "yield, give way"), from PIE base *weik-
"to bend, wind" (see vicarious). "Meaning primarily 'change, alteration,' the word may once have denoted some earlier time division, such as the 'change of moon, half month,' ... but there is no positive evidence of this" [Buck]. No evidence of a native Gmc. week before contact with the Romans. The seven-day week is ancient, probably originating from the 28-day lunar cycle, divisible into four periods of seven day, at the end of each of which the moon enters a new phase. Reinforced during the spread of Christianity by the ancient Jewish seven-day week. As a Roman astrological convention it was borrowed by other European peoples; the Gmc. tribes substituting their own deities for those of the Romans, without regard to planets. The Coligny calendar suggests a Celtic division of the month into halves; the regular Gk. division of the month was into three decades; and the Romans also had a market week of nine days.
"Greek planetary names [for the days of the week] ... are attested for the early centuries of our era, but their use was apparently restricted to certain circles; at any rate they never became popular. In Rome, on the other hand, the planetary names became the established popular terms, too strongly intrenched to be displaced by the eccl[esiastical] names, and spreading through most of western Europe." [Buck]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Week definition

From the beginning, time was divided into weeks, each consisting of six days of working and one of rest (Gen. 2:2, 3; 7:10; 8:10, 12; 29:28). The references to this division of days becomes afterwards more frequent (Ex. 34:22; Lev. 12:5; Num. 28:26; Deut. 16:16; 2 Chr. 8:13; Jer. 5:24; Dan. 9:24-27; 10:2, 3). It has been found to exist among almost all nations.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


period of seven days, a unit of time artificially devised with no astronomical basis. The origin of the term is generally associated with the ancient Jews and the biblical account of the Creation, according to which God laboured for six days and rested on the seventh. Evidence indicates, however, that the Jews may have borrowed the idea of the week from Mesopotamia, for the Sumerians and the Babylonians divided the year into weeks of seven days each, one of which they designated a day of recreation.

Learn more about week with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
What's affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.
The changes announced this week are designed to ease the pressure on struggling
Depending on how long you want to linger, you can travel it in a fast week or a
  more relaxing two.
Paintball is fun, except for the painful bruises that remind you of that fun a
  week after the fact.
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