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[week] /wik/
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) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for weeks
  • During its initial release the song spent several weeks atop the your hit parade charts.
  • The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks.
  • She was consequently placed under restraint as insane, but liberated a few weeks later.
  • They had two children, a son who died three weeks after his birth and a daughter.
  • A second brick cottage, the little red house, was similarly converted some weeks later.
  • It thus has the effect of separating the seven weeks from the sixtytwo weeks .
  • The style of this album stood in great contrast to that of astral weeks.
  • weeks after, graviton returned, having pondered the words of karla.
  • Lisa was sent home after being in the bottom two three consecutive weeks.
  • Debuted on the united world chart at number six and stayed there for four weeks.
British Dictionary definitions for weeks


a period of seven consecutive days, esp one beginning with Sunday related adjective hebdomadal
a period of seven consecutive days beginning from or including a specified day: Easter week, a week from Wednesday
the period of time within a week devoted to work
a week devoted to the celebration of a cause
(mainly Brit) seven days before or after a specified day: I'll visit you Wednesday week
Word Origin
Old English wice, wicu, wucu; related to Old Norse vika, Gothic wikō order
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 weeks



Old English wice, from Proto-Germanic *wikon (cf. Old Norse vika, Old Frisian wike, Middle Dutch weke, Old High German wecha, German woche), probably originally with the sense of "a turning" or "succession" (cf. Gothic wikon "in the course of," Old Norse vika "sea-mile," originally "change of oar," Old English wican "yield, give way"), from PIE root *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 Germanic 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 Germanic 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 Greek 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]
Phrase a week, as in eight days a week recorded by 1540s; see a- (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for weeks

weed tea

noun phrase

Marijuana (1920s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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weeks in the Bible

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 Article for weeks


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
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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