Definition of holiday in US English:

holiday

noun

  • 1A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.

    ‘December 25 is an official public holiday’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Today is one of Bermuda's most celebrated public holidays: May 24th, or Bermuda Day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The day has been declared an official holiday and is celebrated in all parts of Bulgaria.’
    • ‘On the Monday the country enjoyed a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday.’
    • ‘Special and often ostentatious efforts are mounted for public holidays and festivals.’
    • ‘Secular celebrations and public holidays are much more numerous than religious celebrations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the UK all public holidays except those around Christmas are guaranteed to fall on a Monday or Friday.’
    • ‘Public holidays in the Bahamas include the major holy days of the Christian calendar.’
    • ‘More people may also be free to attend the gathering because Wednesday is a public holiday to celebrate the traditional Dragon Boat Festival.’
    • ‘Nigerian Americans also celebrate the major public holidays in the United States.’
    • ‘Prices differ after noon on Saturdays, on Sundays and on public holidays.’
    • ‘Workers in the UK have fewer public holidays than anywhere else in the European Union.’
    • ‘For example, there is the issue of excessive public holidays, which have crossed 100 in a year.’
    • ‘They celebrate a public holiday here on Monday, its Discovery Day.’
    • ‘I remember joining in the singing and general festivities of the Jubilee holiday.’
    • ‘However, unlike the USA and Canada, Britain does not celebrate the harvest with an official public holiday.’
    • ‘Last week, Monday and Friday were both public holidays, and so was Monday this week.’
    • ‘And don't even think about suggesting I come in at weekends or on public holidays.’
    public holiday, bank holiday, festival, festival day, feast day, gala day, carnival day, fete, fiesta, festivity, celebration, anniversary, jubilee
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1as modifier Characteristic of a holiday; festive.
      ‘a 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.’
      • ‘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 shop itself is bright and airy, enhancing the holiday atmosphere of the style.’
      • ‘It kind of puts a damper on the festive holiday spirit.’
      • ‘My favourite working place has to be the Alps - the scenery, the fresh clean air, the calm, the 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To add the holiday atmosphere, balloons were placed on each table.’
      • ‘The Algarve caters for golf enthusiasts and those in search of a relaxed holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘But many groups came again and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.’
      • ‘There was a very relaxed holiday atmosphere in the village over the festive season.’
      • ‘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.’
      jolly, merry, joyous, joyful, happy, jovial, light-hearted, cheerful, cheery, jubilant, convivial, good-time, high-spirited, gleeful, mirthful, uproarious, rollicking, backslapping, hilarious
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2often holidaysBritish An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling; a vacation.
      ‘I spent my summer holidays on a farm’
      ‘Fred was on holiday in Spain’
      • ‘I'm off on holiday for a well-earned break shortly, so I'm working like mad to clear my desk before I go.’
      • ‘I stayed there on holiday last summer and the lobby looks nothing like that and there were way more tourists.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I used to care for neighbours horses when they went away on holiday and travel to shows with them to help out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Let's have a two-week break and go on holiday next January.’
      • ‘Our parents are good friends and as children we went on camping trips and spent holidays together.’
      • ‘Since childhood, he had spent holidays in Exeter with relatives.’
      • ‘Danny was a sixteen-year-old boy who she'd met on holiday in Spain last summer.’
      • ‘It was the school holidays, and the place was teaming with people, families, youth groups, holiday clubs.’
      • ‘I will be on holiday for the next three weeks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When we're on holiday, because Dad travels so much, he always knows the perfect meal to order.’
      • ‘The holiday club runs from 8am to 6pm every weekday during school holidays, except Bank Holidays and Christmas.’
      • ‘After all, no tourists ever went on holiday to this barren spot!’
      break, rest, period of leave, day off, week off, month off, recess, school holiday, half-term
      View synonyms

verb

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

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

Origin

Old English hāligdæg ‘holy day’.

Pronunciation

holiday

/ˈhäləˌdā//ˈhɑləˌdeɪ/