• 1(in the Christian Church) the period preceding Easter, which is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. In the Western Church it runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, and so includes forty weekdays.

    • ‘These aren't the words we would normally want to hear on the day before Lent begins.’
    • ‘One of the most enjoyable events in Bolivia is Carnival, the period preceding Lent.’
    • ‘To this end he will be eating as little as possible from the beginning of Lent until Easter.’
    • ‘During Lent, a visiting priest will celebrate Mass and preach at the Vigil Mass on Saturday night.’
    • ‘Since one must reserve a room six months in advance, I made plans last fall to visit this Lent.’
    1. 1.1 The boat races held at Cambridge University in the Lent term.


Middle English: abbreviation of Lenten.