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’
    • ‘The holiday club runs from 8am to 6pm every weekday during school holidays, except Bank Holidays and Christmas.’
    • ‘She really seemed to like me and I took her to Phuket and everywhere around Thailand for the month I was on holiday.’
    • ‘She travelled to America on holiday for the second time in February 2001.’
    • ‘Mr Carlyle said he was touring Scotland on holiday, and that he was pleased to be in Orkney.’
    • ‘We travelled to Ireland on holiday so we could take him with us.’
    • ‘Since childhood, he had spent holidays in Exeter with relatives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After all, no tourists ever went on holiday to this barren spot!’
    • ‘Let's have a two-week break and go on holiday next January.’
    • ‘I will be on holiday for the next three weeks.’
    • ‘I used to care for neighbours horses when they went away on holiday and travel to shows with them to help out.’
    • ‘For the holidays we went to our holiday house at Stewarts Gully.’
    • ‘It was the school holidays, and the place was teaming with people, families, youth groups, holiday clubs.’
    • ‘Our parents are good friends and as children we went on camping trips and spent holidays together.’
    • ‘Danny was a sixteen-year-old boy who she'd met on holiday in Spain last summer.’
    • ‘When we're on holiday, because Dad travels so much, he always knows the perfect meal to order.’
    • ‘I'm off on holiday for a well-earned break shortly, so I'm working like mad to clear my desk before I go.’
    • ‘We will soon be going on holiday for a month to rest and have lots of fun.’
    • ‘I just want to get away on holiday and let things take care of themselves really.’
    • ‘I stayed there on holiday last summer and the lobby looks nothing like that and there were way more tourists.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, unlike the USA and Canada, Britain does not celebrate the harvest with an official public holiday.’
      • ‘Public holidays in the Bahamas include the major holy days of the Christian calendar.’
      • ‘They celebrate a public holiday here on Monday, its Discovery Day.’
      • ‘In the UK all public holidays except those around Christmas are guaranteed to fall on a Monday or Friday.’
      • ‘Secular celebrations and public holidays are much more numerous than religious celebrations.’
      • ‘On the Monday the country enjoyed a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday.’
      • ‘Prices differ after noon on Saturdays, on Sundays and 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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘For example, there is the issue of excessive public holidays, which have crossed 100 in a year.’
      • ‘I remember joining in the singing and general festivities of the Jubilee holiday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And don't even think about suggesting I come in at weekends or on public holidays.’
      • ‘Nigerian Americans also celebrate the major public holidays in the United States.’
      • ‘The day has been declared an official holiday and is celebrated in all parts of Bulgaria.’
      • ‘Workers in the UK have fewer public holidays than anywhere else in the European Union.’
      • ‘More people may also be free to attend the gathering because Wednesday is a public holiday to celebrate the traditional Dragon Boat Festival.’
      • ‘Today is one of Bermuda's most celebrated public holidays: May 24th, or Bermuda Day.’
      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’
      • ‘Everyone, it seems, is in festive holiday mode.’
      • ‘The shop itself is bright and airy, enhancing the holiday atmosphere of the style.’
      • ‘But many groups came again and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘Here at Rockefeller Center at New York City, the Christmas, or holiday spirit, is alive and well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My favourite working place has to be the Alps - the scenery, the fresh clean air, the calm, the holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was a very relaxed holiday atmosphere in the village over the festive season.’
      • ‘To add the holiday atmosphere, balloons were placed on each table.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can cut your repayment when money is tight, or take a payment holiday altogether.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They can take payment holidays, over-pay, under-pay, withdraw or deposit lump sums.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With an offset, you can also make underpayments and take payment holidays.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In some circumstances - though this is relatively rare - a creditor may be prepared to give you a short payment holiday.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It will also allow the borrower to make reduced monthly payments or take a payment holiday.’


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

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