Definition of holiday in US English:



  • 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
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    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
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    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
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  • 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
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Old English hāligdæg ‘holy day’.