Definition of holiday in English:



  • 1often holidaysAn extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling.

    ‘I spent my summer holidays on a farm’
    North American term vacation
    ‘Fred was on holiday in Spain’
    • ‘I will be on holiday for the next three weeks.’
    • ‘It was the school holidays, and the place was teaming with people, families, youth groups, holiday clubs.’
    • ‘I just want to get away on holiday and let things take care of themselves really.’
    • ‘For the holidays we went to our holiday house at Stewarts Gully.’
    • ‘I also make a conscious choice to go on holiday before hordes of children go, as I have had my family and now wish to relax when I go on my holidays.’
    • ‘We will soon be going on holiday for a month to rest and have lots of fun.’
    • ‘Let's have a two-week break and go on holiday next January.’
    • ‘The holiday club runs from 8am to 6pm every weekday during school holidays, except Bank Holidays and Christmas.’
    • ‘Our parents are good friends and as children we went on camping trips and spent holidays together.’
    • ‘After all, no tourists ever went on holiday to this barren spot!’
    • ‘I stayed there on holiday last summer and the lobby looks nothing like that and there were way more tourists.’
    • ‘I'm off on holiday for a well-earned break shortly, so I'm working like mad to clear my desk before I go.’
    • ‘She travelled to America on holiday for the second time in February 2001.’
    • ‘When we're on holiday, because Dad travels so much, he always knows the perfect meal to order.’
    • ‘I used to care for neighbours horses when they went away on holiday and travel to shows with them to help out.’
    • ‘She really seemed to like me and I took her to Phuket and everywhere around Thailand for the month I was on holiday.’
    • ‘Danny was a sixteen-year-old boy who she'd met on holiday in Spain last summer.’
    • ‘Since childhood, he had spent holidays in Exeter with relatives.’
    • ‘We travelled to Ireland on holiday so we could take him with us.’
    • ‘Mr Carlyle said he was touring Scotland on holiday, and that he was pleased to be in Orkney.’
    break, rest, period of leave, day off, week off, month off, recess, school holiday, half-term
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    1. 1.1 A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.
      ‘25 December is an official public holiday’
      • ‘And don't even think about suggesting I come in at weekends or on public holidays.’
      • ‘We've got a four day week here due to public holidays, and as usual, I have seven days worth of work to try to cram in.’
      • ‘However, unlike the USA and Canada, Britain does not celebrate the harvest with an official public holiday.’
      • ‘I remember joining in the singing and general festivities of the Jubilee holiday.’
      • ‘Today is one of Bermuda's most celebrated public holidays: May 24th, or Bermuda Day.’
      • ‘On the Monday the country enjoyed a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday.’
      • ‘More people may also be free to attend the gathering because Wednesday is a public holiday to celebrate the traditional Dragon Boat Festival.’
      • ‘The day has been declared an official holiday and is celebrated in all parts of Bulgaria.’
      • ‘Secular celebrations and public holidays are much more numerous than religious celebrations.’
      • ‘In the UK all public holidays except those around Christmas are guaranteed to fall on a Monday or Friday.’
      • ‘For example, there is the issue of excessive public holidays, which have crossed 100 in a year.’
      • ‘Idd-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival and public holiday that is celebrated on the sighting of the new moon at the end of the calendar year.’
      • ‘Prices differ after noon on Saturdays, on Sundays and on public holidays.’
      • ‘Nigerian Americans also celebrate the major public holidays in the United States.’
      • ‘Public holidays in the Bahamas include the major holy days of the Christian calendar.’
      • ‘It also lets you know when there are public holidays, so that you can either avoid them or make sure you're there to join in!’
      • ‘They celebrate a public holiday here on Monday, its Discovery Day.’
      • ‘Special and often ostentatious efforts are mounted for public holidays and festivals.’
      • ‘Last week, Monday and Friday were both public holidays, and so was Monday this week.’
      • ‘Workers in the UK have fewer public holidays than anywhere else in the European Union.’
      public holiday, bank holiday, festival, festival day, feast day, gala day, carnival day, fete, fiesta, festivity, celebration, anniversary, jubilee
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    2. 1.2as modifier Characteristic of a holiday; festive.
      ‘a holiday atmosphere’
      • ‘Tom Jenkins and the Palm Court Orchestra, playing on a palm and fern bedecked platform, brought a holiday atmosphere to St. George's Hall on Saturday.’
      • ‘But many groups came again and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘To add the holiday atmosphere, balloons were placed on each table.’
      • ‘Here at Rockefeller Center at New York City, the Christmas, or holiday spirit, is alive and well.’
      • ‘My favourite working place has to be the Alps - the scenery, the fresh clean air, the calm, the holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘They set a tranquil holiday atmosphere which is just what is needed for strollers wanting a glimpse of the sea and to smell the salt.’
      • ‘The appeal has come from the local St. Patrick's Day Parade organisers who want the town to take on a festive and holiday atmosphere for the weekend.’
      • ‘The Algarve caters for golf enthusiasts and those in search of a relaxed holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘Everyone, it seems, is in festive holiday mode.’
      • ‘I have managed to get two weeks off which will be great, although it is only 2 weeks away I am beginning to feel festive and in full holiday mode.’
      • ‘There was a very relaxed holiday atmosphere in the village over the festive season.’
      • ‘In some places, it was business as usual, but many parts of the city were still influenced by the holiday atmosphere, and people were reluctant to work.’
      • ‘It kind of puts a damper on the festive holiday spirit.’
      • ‘The shop itself is bright and airy, enhancing the holiday atmosphere of the style.’
      jolly, merry, joyous, joyful, happy, jovial, light-hearted, cheerful, cheery, jubilant, convivial, good-time, high-spirited, gleeful, mirthful, uproarious, rollicking, backslapping, hilarious
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  • 2with modifier A short period during which the payment of instalments, tax, etc. may be suspended.

    ‘a pension holiday’
    • ‘They can take payment holidays, over-pay, under-pay, withdraw or deposit lump sums.’
    • ‘The lenders and debt holders are being asked to take a hit on interest rates to be paid on the outstanding loans and a three-year payment holiday on 300m of senior debt.’
    • ‘With an offset, you can also make underpayments and take payment holidays.’
    • ‘Some even allow you to make overpayments, underpayments or to take payment holidays.’
    • ‘I took out a personal loan and, after a payment holiday, repayments started in February.’
    • ‘It will also allow the borrower to make reduced monthly payments or take a payment holiday.’
    • ‘If you can find the right sort of re-mortgage you'll at least have the security of knowing that you can take a payment holiday if you really need to.’
    • ‘Of course on the other hand, we could lose out on the house we want to purchase, lose our buyer and get into real financial difficulty when our mortgage payment holiday ends next month.’
    • ‘In some circumstances - though this is relatively rare - a creditor may be prepared to give you a short payment holiday.’
    • ‘You can cut your repayment when money is tight, or take a payment holiday altogether.’
    • ‘The added bonus is that that I only need to make one repayment in the first five months and I can have a month's payment holiday every single year for the term of the loan.’


  • no object, with adverbial of place Spend a holiday in a specified place.

    ‘he is holidaying in Italy’
    • ‘In Madeira she had been learning Portuguese and had also met a few Brazilians who had been holidaying there.’
    • ‘Fears were growing today for three York tourists who were holidaying in Thailand when the Asian earthquake struck.’
    • ‘It is wonderful to see so many people holidaying in the area.’
    • ‘It is very much a romantic getaway with more couples holidaying there than families or single people.’
    • ‘Apparently Ellison called him while he was holidaying in Oregon.’
    • ‘Robbie, Ian explained, was staying in a villa neighbouring the hotel where he is holidaying with his wife Maureen.’
    • ‘He flew with friends to Thailand on Wednesday, December 22 to spend three weeks holidaying on the coast.’
    • ‘Canon Joyce welcomed the huge congregation which included many visitors who are holidaying in the area.’
    • ‘Two of her sisters are working in London, while two other family members are holidaying in Australia.’
    • ‘Czechs, Poles and Slovenians are also expected to return to holidaying in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘He is holidaying in the town until Wednesday when he travels back to England.’
    • ‘Mr Yan recollects that he heard about Miss Brockie when holidaying on the Riviera.’
    • ‘Over the years the family spent a lot of time holidaying in Europe.’
    • ‘Rather than holidaying in the Bahamas, they spend six weeks up a mountain.’
    • ‘We holidayed in Clovelly, a little village in Devon.’
    • ‘He has spent the last couple of days holidaying with his family.’
    travel round, travel through, journey through, go on a trip through, go on an excursion in, explore, voyage around, trek around, sightsee in, holiday in, cruise, range over, roam in, rove through, wander through, globetrot
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Old English hāligdæg ‘holy day’.