Definition of year in English:



  • 1The time taken by the earth to make one revolution around the sun.

    The length of the year depends on the manner of calculation. For ordinary purposes the important period is the tropical year (also called astronomical year, equinoctial year, or solar year) which is the time between successive spring or autumn equinoxes, or winter or summer solstices, roughly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds in length. This period thus marks the regular cycle of the seasons. See also sidereal year, anomalistic year

    • ‘Instead of a January to December calendar year, the Almanac relied on a tropical year defined as running from one winter solstice to the next.’
    • ‘The first of these is called the sidereal year while the second is called the tropical year.’
    • ‘An extra day is inserted every four years to synchronise the calendar year with the solar year - the time it takes for the earth to orbit the sun.’
    • ‘Calendar dates of events vary slightly because there is not an exact number of solar days in a year.’
    • ‘Thus the Callippic cycle fitted 940 lunar months precisely to 76 tropical years of 365.25 days.’
    • ‘Even without the benefit of modern mathematics, tally rods show clearly and unequivocally a mismatch of about a third of a lunation between the end of 12 lunations (the lunar year) and the end of the solar year.’
    • ‘So this is the end of the solar year, the solar year I set out to chronicle as I huddled by my parents' house in Missouri, waiting for the very first bird.’
    • ‘The Islamic lunar year is thus 10 or 11 days short of a solar year, and the calendar slips through the seasons on a cycle of almost 34 years.’
    • ‘Over a few years of observation the solar year is discovered to be 365.25 days in length, as accurate as our Roman solar calendar.’
    • ‘In fact, some peoples still prefer lunar years to solar years.’
    • ‘There is also the ancient issue of aligning the man-made year with the solar year, but that's relatively easy to deal with by creating 31 September - or bequeathing another day to much-maligned February.’
    • ‘It is because of this general slowing down of the Earth that leap seconds need to be inserted into some years.’
    • ‘The Romaka-Siddhanta was based on the tropical year of Hipparchus and on the Metonic cycle of 19 years.’
    • ‘Roughly half of the American people know that it takes a year for the Earth to go around the Sun.’
    • ‘In essence the year is split into four equal seasons, each lasting 91 days plus a bit.’
    • ‘An intercalary month was added every three years to allow for the fact that a solar year has 365.2422 days while 12 lunar months of 29.5306 days contains 354.3672 days.’
    • ‘The tropical year when the earth in its revolution passes from one equinox or tropic to the same again.’
    • ‘The intercalary month by which the Arabs adjusted the lunar months to the solar year is abolished, severing the connection between the religious rituals and the seasons.’
    • ‘Though the present day almanac makers have discarded the Surya Sidhantic length of the year, they are still adhering to the sidereal year instead of the solar year.’
    • ‘Since the lunar year is shorter than the tropical year, the lunar calendar travels all through the seasons, making a complete cycle in about 33 years.’
  • 2The period of 365 days (or 366 days in leap years) starting from the first of January, used for reckoning time in ordinary circumstances.

    • ‘That carrier's plan offers a free ticket for every four round trips booked online and flown within a calendar year.’
    • ‘This is the first big race meeting of the calendar year held in the second weekend of January.’
    • ‘Such a phasing allows for a third eclipse season partially lying within the calendar year, starting on December 12.’
    • ‘How much do members reckon that had grown to by last year, the 2004 calendar year?’
    • ‘This is because annual investment performances do not have to be given on a calendar year or a January to December basis by the life companies.’
    • ‘There are certain days within the calendar year that certainly are sacrosanct.’
    • ‘Your paycheck will be debited at the same rate each month for the entire calendar year.’
    • ‘If you operate your business on a calendar year, the deadline would be Dec 31.’
    • ‘What's so great about the second month of the calendar year?’
    • ‘At all events this week at Leinster House there was far more a feeling of the year drawing to a close than one gets as the calendar year nears a conclusion.’
    • ‘This service provides 24 hour clinical pharmacy coverage each day of the calendar year.’
    • ‘It is at once apparent that congestion in any calendar year can only be determined after the end of the calendar 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.’
    • ‘Occurring late in the calendar year, Ramadan is a period of fasting and purification.’
    • ‘The examination cannot be retaken in the same calendar year.’
    • ‘In what at first appears to be a lighthearted way, the collection provides a thought or a comment for each week of a calendar year.’
    • ‘Selection for the scholarship occurs in June of each year, with study to be undertaken in the following calendar year.’
    • ‘It will also change its financial year from a November 15 year end to a calendar year in line with its peers.’
    • ‘This bill provided for the State Auditor to compile a list of all state employees during the previous calendar year.’
    • ‘He, of course, is looking to become the first player ever to have topped three finishes in all four majors in a calendar year.’
    • ‘One calendar year up to 31 December, 1996 was selected to show the pre-computerisation state of affairs.’
    • ‘The measure applies only to tourist visits not exceeding six months in a calendar year.’
    1. 2.1 A period of twelve months measured from a point other than 1 January.
      ‘it's almost a year since his heart attack’
      • ‘Our official engagement will take place two years later, a month or so before we get married.’
      • ‘She cried and made obscene gestures as she was led from court to start three years and nine months behind bars.’
      • ‘It could be months or even years before the village truly gets back to normal.’
      • ‘He also admitted a charge of drink-driving and was jailed for a total of three years and three months.’
      • ‘Have you got smarter in the last twelve months or has the year taken its toll on your brain cells?’
      • ‘In this way, the Chinese calendar year keeps in step with the real world.’
      • ‘Some can be as short as six weeks, while others run from nine months up to two years.’
      • ‘They will be able to pay £12 a month over three years to cover their end of the deal.’
      • ‘The length of time they are on the medication ranges from nine months to three years.’
      • ‘A Department of Health and Treasury decision could take several months or even years.’
      • ‘In 1993 it took, on average, five years and eight months for a case to be finally decided.’
      • ‘It is the beginning of the Islamic year or Muharam, the first month of the Hijri year.’
      • ‘He just wanted to be a part of the Camp for some time. It could be a period as short as a month or a year.’
      • ‘Sir Graham Hall retires this month after five years at the helm of Yorkshire Forward.’
      • ‘This clinical syndrome generally occurs six months to two years after radiation therapy.’
      • ‘Makar Sankrant is the first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year, falling on January 14.’
      • ‘My vision has become a reality as I take two days per week during the school calendar year to work on empowering people to do as I did.’
      • ‘My husband and I moved from Surrey six months ago after ten years in a desirable but busy commuter belt.’
      • ‘Judge Crowther set a period of two years and ten months before parole could be considered.’
      • ‘A very fine description - of a museum which shut its doors five years and seven months ago.’
      twelve-month period, twelve-month session
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with adjective A year regarded in terms of the quality of something produced.
      ‘single-vineyard wine of a good year’
      • ‘In a good year, the vineyard produces 9000 bottles of the most sought-after wine.’
      • ‘Advertising is set for its best year since 1999, according to a report out this week.’
      • ‘Was it a very good year? The vintage is simply the year that the fruit, usually one or more varieties of grapes, used in making the wine was grown.’
    3. 2.3 A period similar to a year used for reckoning time according to other calendars.
      ‘the Muslim year’
      • ‘In the story of how the animals got their years in the Chinese calendar, the Rat won first place.’
  • 3one's yearsOne's age or time of life.

    ‘she had a composure well beyond her years’
    number of years, lifetime, duration, length of life
    View synonyms
  • 4yearsinformal A very long time; ages.

    ‘it's going to take years to put that right’
    • ‘After many months and years cajoling and calling for clear leadership from the top, it had arrived.’
  • 5A set of students grouped together as being of roughly similar ages, mostly entering a school or college in the same academic year.

    ‘most of the girls in my year were leaving at the end of the term’
    • ‘One of his tutors at Cambridge described him as a very good student but certainly not the top student in his year.’
    • ‘The Claimant is a final year student at the Chelsea College of Article.’
    • ‘Mr Shaw is a first year graduate student in physics at the University of Southern California.’
    • ‘By their fourth year students were studying the differential and integral calculus.’
    • ‘Students in the higher year are able to smoke in the law but they are not allowed to in school.’
    • ‘We have made it compulsory for the first year students to attend classes twice a week in the lab.’
    • ‘This is our tactic in the Writing Skills course we teach to first year college students.’
    • ‘Gemma Bond is the only White Lodge student from her year to make the company.’
    • ‘Both were very well liked by their peers and by students in other years and will be enormously missed.’
    • ‘Third year fine art student Dale Cochrane initially came to the school one day a week to help with lessons.’
    • ‘Farheen, a third year optical management student says she won't be voting either.’
    class, form, study group, school group, set, stream, band
    View synonyms


  • in the year of our Lord —

    • In the year — AD.

      ‘I was born in the year of our Lord 1786’
      • ‘Done in the City of Manila, this 27th day of June, in the year Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eight-six.’
      • ‘On the twenty-seventh day of the month of June, in the year of grace 1731, my brother, Bartolomeu Lourenço, rose on his airship from the ancient ramparts of St. Jorge Castle.’
      • ‘Enacted at Paris, in the year of grace 1221, in the month of February, on the sabbath after the feast of St. Matthew the apostle.’
      • ‘Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.’
      • ‘Given in Paris the eighteenth day of December in the year of grace one thousand six hundred and three, and of our reign the fifteenth, thus signed Henry.’
      • ‘The inscription reads: "Rauf de Cobham of Kent Esquire removed by death the 20th day of January in the year of grace 1402 rests here."’
      • ‘We are met, dearly beloved, to celebrate the festival of Charles, King and Martyr, who laid down his life in defence of our most holy religion in the year of grace sixteen hundred and forty-nine.’
      • ‘Given at Paderborn in the year of grace 1241, on August the ninth, in the twelfth year of our pontificate.’
      • ‘Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of May, in the year Our Lord, nineteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the sixteenth.’
      • ‘This was Calalzo as seen and narrated by the daughter of Carlo Enrico Ferrari in the year of grace 1888.’
  • — of the year

    • A person or thing chosen as outstanding in a specified field or of a specified kind in a particular year.

      ‘the sports personality of the year’
      • ‘How these kids handle the coliseum of Old Trafford will be one of the stories of the year.’
      • ‘It's a brilliant way to begin what could well be one of the teen publishing hits of the year.’
      • ‘If they are this good live they could prove to be one of the discoveries of the year.’
      • ‘If the matter was not so serious his letter would be in contention for the joke of the year.’
      • ‘This week sees the release of what is meant to be one of the biggest films of the year.’
      • ‘In strict musicianly terms, this would be my album of the year without a shadow of doubt.’
      • ‘The arrogance of power was the subtext in the other great medical story of the year.’
      • ‘It is also one of the finalists in an award marking the growth strategy of the year.’
      • ‘It was Morra who had the bright idea of sending the truffle of the year to a celebrity.’
      • ‘Impressive enought to earn him the all things footie young player of the year anyway.’
      • ‘It is absolutely unmissable and a surefire contender for one of the albums of the year.’
      • ‘I had been nominated for coach of the year in the past but did not win so I thought nothing of it.’
      • ‘It's easy to call City of God one of the films of the year despite it only being January.’
      • ‘If you haven't already joined the blog event of the year and bid your little heart out.’
  • put years on (or take years off) someone

    • Make someone feel or look older (or younger)

      ‘the daily grind of moneymaking can put years on a person’
      • ‘It took years off her face, making her look like one of those loving, ‘I'll give-you-cookies-and-milk-if-you-smile-at-me’ type Grandma's, rather than my imposing and austere Grandmother.’
      • ‘It'll be all those broken hearts, it puts years on you…’
      • ‘The pressure to perform has put years on Robbie Keane's boyish features in a World Cup that has demanded some fast growing up from the younger players.’
      • ‘To assist, Almond has a new blond crop that takes years off him, and a nervous, twitchy dance that matches the music's speedy urgency.’
      • ‘Despite being 46, he doesn't have any silver in his hair to go with the gold in his teeth; a recent peroxide blond dye-job takes years off him, as does the cosmetic surgery which has removed the bags beneath his eyes.’
      • ‘I know that Broderick is in his 30s, and Anakin is supposed to be 8, but that George Lucas is a real wizard with special effects, so I'm sure he worked his movie magic and took years off Mr. Broderick.’
  • a year and a day

    • The period specified in some legal matters to ensure the completion of a full year.

      • ‘After the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996, it is not necessary that the death takes place within a year and a day of the unlawful act or omission.’
      • ‘If the same offender is again convicted, he shall be punished as before and also abjure the city for a year and a day, as well as paying damages to any complainant.’
      • ‘In New York today, the rapper was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a shooting outside a radio station.’
      • ‘After completing all of the requirements, and after a year and a day, the Newbie becomes a neophyte and may ask for initiation.’
      • ‘Mr. Freeman is sentenced to a year and a day in prison, but he is released that afternoon.’
      • ‘Taubman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.’
      • ‘As Lord of the Manor, Coun King has few remaining rights, but if stray cattle or sheep wandered into his garden he could impound them and, after a year and a day, he would own them.’
      • ‘The government reneged, and he received a sentence of a year and a day at Leavenworth.’
      • ‘For homicides where the act causing death was committed after 17 June 1996, the rule that death must occur within a year and a day of such act or omission has been abolished.’
      • ‘Until 1996 there was also a rule that a person could only be convicted of a homicide offence if the death occurred within a year and a day of the accused's act or omission, but the rule was abolished by the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996.’
  • year in, year out

    • Continuously or repeatedly over a period of years.

      ‘they rented the same bungalow year in, year out’
      • ‘While it risks becoming completely irrelevant the moment the holidays have ended, it also has the potential to become a cherished yuletide classic - to be watched without fail, year in, year out.’
      • ‘But that didn't change the fact that I was constantly the punch line at roll call, year in, year out.’
      • ‘We are there year in, year out, at all the party conferences, though maybe only two or three people manning the stall.’
      • ‘Housewives put in the hours and produce the results, year in, year out, yet their graft continues to go unrewarded.’
      • ‘Hunger, for instance, has taken its toll, especially that weather conditions are perpetually agriculturally incapacitating so that it's always poor yields, year in, year out.’
      • ‘In most schools it is the same people who take all the teams year in, year out.’
      • ‘SIR - When are our local councils, and indeed the Government, going to get to grips with the problem we have year in, year out with the letting off of fireworks weeks before Bonfire Night?’
      • ‘DON'T believe the producers of the big drinks brands when they tell us that the ‘beauty of blending’ is that our favourite tipples can thus be consistent and familiar year in, year out.’
      • ‘United have had one or two hiccups which happens because it's hard to continue winning things year in, year out.’
      • ‘It is a tradition they pathetically cling to year in, year out, because it takes them - for a short while - back to the days of their ‘carefree’ 20s.’
      repeatedly, again and again, time and again, time and time again, time after time, over and over, over and over again, week in, week out, day in, day out, recurrently, continuously, continually, constantly, habitually, regularly, without a break, persistently, unfailingly, always
      View synonyms


Old English gē(a)r, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jaar and German Jahr, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hōra ‘season’.