Definition of Pentecost in US English:



  • 1The Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter.

    • ‘Only the experiences which are described as Easter and Pentecost created their faith in the paradoxical character of the messianic claim.’
    • ‘Of course, these stern warnings only make sense in light of what was announced and celebrated on Pentecost and Trinity Sundays.’
    • ‘The Easter and Pentecost seasons close with the celebration of one of Christianity's greatest mysteries: God as one, yet three.’
    • ‘These are manifestations of the Spirit's coming to the church on the day of Pentecost shortly after Jesus' ascension.’
    • ‘Proselytes were among the Christians at the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘After his seventh Pentecost at sea Brendan finally sails back towards Ireland and home, with the Steward in the prow as pilot.’
    • ‘There are the usual holy days of the Roman Catholic Church - Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception and others.’
    • ‘Changing the names of the Sundays between Easter Day and Pentecost to Sundays of Easter appropriately connected the Resurrection to the outpouring of the Spirit, making it clear that Easter is not a day but a week of weeks.’
    • ‘There's a balance on the course between Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and Pentecost, the outpouring of the spirit.’
    • ‘First, assorted passages from Revelation made up the second reading for six of the seven Sundays between Easter and Pentecost.’
    • ‘From Easter to Pentecost they live in relative plenty on the nearby Paradise of the Birds.’
    • ‘What joy, then, when the dovelike Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost.’
    • ‘At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the gift of speaking in different languages - the languages of their hearers.’
    • ‘The reading from Acts comes in the lull between Jesus' ascension and Pentecost.’
    • ‘From time to time there is talk of a fixed date for Easter and Pentecost Sunday - all part of the minimizing of symbolic distinctiveness, in the service of secular convenience, and a slow form of ritual suicide for any religious tradition.’
    • ‘Technically it is more important than Christmas, ranking after Easter and Pentecost.’
    • ‘In many communities a second day is added to the celebrations of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.’
    • ‘As the church prepares to celebrate the ascension and Pentecost, readings are focused on the life of the disciples after Jesus.’
    • ‘These weeks from Easter to Pentecost memorialize the calling forth and sending out of Jesus' witnesses.’
    • ‘This scripture is used to prove that the disciples received the Holy Spirit prior to Pentecost without speaking in tongues.’
    1. 1.1 The day on which Pentecost is held.
      Also called Whitsunday
      • ‘The disciples spent nearly three years asking this question, and yet they didn't really understand until the day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘On the day of Pentecost, the passion would not be contained or concealed in an upper room, it had to make its way, like a river, into the city, and eventually, all the world.’
      • ‘Remember, too, that Easter is not just one day but actually 50 days, culminating with the Day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘Finally, on the day of Pentecost, it was a gaze afire with the outpouring of the Spirit.’
      • ‘This promise was fulfilled in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘That is precisely the joy that turned the world upside-down on the day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘As we look at the Church from the Day of Pentecost to today, we see four very clear eras.’
      • ‘When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.’
      • ‘Our second example is also a case of ‘direct reference’ - Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘The gift of tongues given to these men on the day of Pentecost was a sign to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem that judgment was coming upon them for their rejection of the Lord of Glory, Jesus the Messiah.’
      • ‘At another level, one has to make a conscious choice to move beyond denial and answer the question: How much do we let the spirit of the day of Pentecost become part of our spirituality and vocations of training, pastoral care and counseling?’
      • ‘The decline of the Church as a whole reached rock bottom during the Dark Ages, where the Church was hardly recognisable as the same holy, dynamic company birthed by God on the Day of Pentecost.’
      • ‘After the Jews were able to hear the good news in their own languages that Pentecost day, they listened to Peter's stories.’
      • ‘The Catholic Church was started on the Day of Pentecost in about 33 AD.’
      • ‘As we look at the account of the first Pentecost, it clearly was not just another day.’
      • ‘We know this because Pentecost is 50 days after Passover.’
      • ‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place and suddenly, out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.’
      • ‘On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached that Christ had been put to death both by the definite plan and foreknowledge of God - and by the hands of lawless men.’
      • ‘Maybe we can imagine for a moment being part of the crowd that Pentecost day.’
      • ‘The sinews of life are ripped to shreds and we find ourselves alone, incapable of restoring the order that we desire. Gentle Spirit, come to us again as you did on the day of Pentecost.’
  • 2The Jewish festival of Shavuoth.

    • ‘The Christian festival of Pentecost also comes from Shavuot.’
    • ‘The Feast of the Pentecost was a Pilgrimage Feast, a Jewish Thanksgiving that drew all ‘nations’ together.’
    • ‘The account in Acts 2 presupposes the Jewish festival of Pentecost which commemorates the giving of the Torah.’


Old English pentecosten, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek pentēkostē (hēmera) ‘fiftieth (day)’ (because the Jewish festival is held on the fiftieth day after the second day of Passover).