Gregorian calendar


Gregorian calendar
the reformed Julian calendar now in use, according to which the ordinary year consists of 365 days, and a leap year of 366 days occurs in every year whose number is exactly divisible by 4 except centenary years whose numbers are not exactly divisible by 400, as 1700, 1800, and 1900. See table under calendar.
[1640-50; named after Pope GREGORY XIII; see -IAN]

* * *

Solar dating system now in general use.

It was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar. By the Julian reckoning, the solar year comprised 36514 days. The addition of a "leap day" every four years was intended to maintain correspondence between the calendar and the seasons; however, a slight inaccuracy in the measurement of the solar year caused the calendar dates of the seasons to regress almost one day per century. By Pope Gregory's time, the Julian calendar was 10 days out of sync with the seasons; in 1582, to bring the vernal equinox (and thus Easter) back to its proper date, 10 days were dropped (October 5 became October 15). Most of Catholic Europe soon adopted the new calendar; Great Britain and its colonies (1752) and Russia (1918) followed much later. The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian only in that no century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000). A further refinement, the designation of years evenly divisible by 4,000 as common (not leap) years, will keep the calendar accurate to within one day in 20,000 years.

* * *

also called  New Style Calendar  

      solar dating system now in general use. It was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar.

      By the Julian reckoning, the solar year comprised 365 1/4 days; the intercalation of a “leap day (leap year)” every four years was intended to maintain correspondence between the calendar and the seasons. A slight inaccuracy in the measurement (the solar year comprising more precisely 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.25 seconds) caused the calendar dates of the seasons to regress almost one day per century.

      Although this regression had amounted to 14 days by Pope Gregory's time, he based his reform on restoration of the vernal equinox, then falling on March 11, to the date (March 21) it had in AD 325, the time of the Council of Nicaea, and not on the date of the equinox at the time of the birth of Christ, when it fell on March 25. The change was effected by advancing the calendar 10 days after Oct. 4, 1582, the day following being reckoned as October 15.

      The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian only in that no century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000). A further proposed refinement, the designation of years evenly divisible by 4,000 as common (not leap) years, will keep the Gregorian calendar accurate to within one day in 20,000 years.

      Within a year the change had been adopted by the Italian states, Portugal, Spain, and the German Catholic states. Gradually, other nations adopted the Gregorian calendar: the Protestant German states in 1699; England and its colonies in 1752; Sweden in 1753; Japan in 1873; China in 1912; the Soviet Union in 1918; and Greece in 1923. Islamic countries tend to retain calendars based on Islam (see Muslim calendar).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gregorian calendar — Gregorian Gre*go ri*an, a. [NL. Gregorianus, fr. Gregorius Gregory, Gr. ?: cf. F. gr[ e]gorien.] Pertaining to, or originated by, some person named Gregory, especially one of the popes of that name. [1913 Webster] {Gregorian calendar}, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gregorian calendar — Calendar Cal en*dar, n. [OE. kalender, calender, fr. L. kalendarium an interest or account book (cf. F. calendrier, OF. calendier) fr. L. calendue, kalendae, calends. See {Calends}.] 1. An orderly arrangement of the division of time, adapted to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gregorian calendar — n. a corrected form of the Julian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and now used in most countries of the world: it provides for an ordinary year of 365 days and a leap year of 366 days every fourth, even year, exclusive of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Gregorian calendar — For the calendar of religious holidays and periods, see Liturgical year. For this year s Gregorian calendar, see Common year starting on Saturday. 2011 in other calendars Gregorian calendar 2011 MMXI …   Wikipedia

  • Gregorian Calendar —    The Gregorian calendar, a modification of the Julian, was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. This calendar, called the New Style at the time, is now used worldwide. The Julian calendar had prescribed an extra day every fourth year, the… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Gregorian calendar — the day following 4 October 1582 of the Julian calendar was designated 15 October 1582 of the Gregorian calendar; the 10 days being dropped in order that the vernal equinox would fall on March 21. The Gregorian calendar was not adopted by England …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • Gregorian Calendar — The calendar so named after Pope Gregory who corrected the errors of several centuries in the calculation of time and put in force a new style by which the error is reduced to one day in thirty centuries. Christian nations have generally adopted… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Gregorian calendar — Grigaliaus kalendorius statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Kalendorius, pagal kurį keliamieji metai nustatomi laikantis tokios taisyklės: metai, išskyrus šimtmečių metus, yra keliamieji, jei jie dalosi iš 4, šimtmečių metai yra keliamieji,… …   Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas

  • Gregorian calendar — noun Date: circa 1771 a calendar in general use introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a revision of the Julian calendar, adopted in Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752, marked by the suppression of 10 days or after 1700 11 days,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Gregorian calendar — noun The calendar currently used in the western world. It replaced the Julian calendar and was devised to halt the slow drift of the vernal equinox towards earlier in the year …   Wiktionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.