week


week
/week/, n.
1. a period of seven successive days, usually understood as beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday.
2. a period of seven successive days that begins with or includes an indicated day: the week of June 3; Christmas week.
3. (often cap.) a period of seven successive days devoted to a particular celebration, honor, cause, etc.: National Book Week.
4. the working days or working portion of the seven-day period; workweek: A 35-hour week is now commonplace.
adv.
5. Brit. seven days before or after a specified day: I shall come Tuesday week. He left yesterday week.
[bef. 900; ME weke, OE wice; c. D week, ON vika week, Goth wiko turn; akin to L vicis (gen.) turn (see VICE3)]

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      period of seven days, a unit of time artificially devised with no astronomical basis. The origin of the term is generally associated with the ancient Jews and the biblical account of the Creation, according to which God laboured for six days and rested on the seventh. Evidence indicates, however, that the Jews may have borrowed the idea of the week from Mesopotamia, for the Sumerians (Sumer) and the Babylonians (Babylonia) divided the year into weeks of seven days (day) each, one of which they designated a day of recreation.

      The Babylonians named each of the days after one of the five planetary bodies known to them and after the Sun and the Moon, a custom later adopted by the Romans (Roman republican calendar). For a time the Romans used a period of eight days in civil practice, but in AD 321 Emperor Constantine established the seven-day week in the Roman calendar and designated Sunday as the first day of the week. Subsequent days bore the names Moon's-day, Mars's-day, Mercury's-day, Jupiter's-day, Venus'-day, and Saturn's-day. Constantine, a convert to Christianity, decreed that Sunday should be a day of rest and worship.

      The days assigned by the Romans to the Sun, Moon, and Saturn were retained for the corresponding days of the week in English (Sunday, Monday, and Saturday) and several related languages. The other weekday names in English are derived from Anglo-Saxon words for the gods of Teutonic mythology. Tuesday comes from Tiu, or Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon name for Tyr, the Norse god of war. Tyr was one of the sons of Odin, or Woden, the supreme deity after whom Wednesday was named. Similarly, Thursday originates from Thor's-day, named in honour of Thor, the god of thunder. Friday was derived from Frigg's-day, Frigg, the wife of Odin, representing love and beauty, in Norse mythology.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • week — W1S1 [wi:k] n [: Old English; Origin: wicu] 1.) a period of seven days and nights, usually measured in Britain from Monday to Sunday and in the US from Sunday to Saturday once/twice/three times etc a week ▪ Letters were delivered twice a week… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • week — [ wik ] noun count *** a period of seven days, usually counted from a Sunday: He travels south two days a week. That left 15 dollars per week for food. last/next week: He will meet his uncle in Boston next week. a. a week in which particular… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • week — [wēk] n. [ME weke < OE wicu with lengthened & lowered vowel, akin to Ger woche (OHG wohha) < IE * weig , to bend (see WEAK): basic sense “period of change”] 1. a period of seven days, esp. one beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday… …   English World dictionary

  • week|ly — «WEEK lee», adjective, adverb, noun, plural lies. –adj. 1. of a week; for a week; lasting a week. 2. done, happening, or appearing once a week or each week: »She writes a weekly letter to her grandmother. 3. of or having to do with the working… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Week — Week, n. [OE. weke, wike, woke, wuke AS. weocu, wicu, wucu; akin to OS. wika, OFries. wike, D. week, G. woche, OHG. wohha, wehha, Icel. vika, Sw. vecka, Dan. uge, Goth. wik?, probably originally meaning, a succession or change, and akin to G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • week — O.E. wice, from P.Gmc. *wikon (Cf. O.N. vika, O.Fris. wike, M.Du. weke, O.H.G. wecha, Ger. woche), probably originally with the sense of a turning or succession (Cf. Goth. wikon in the course of, O.N. vika sea mile, originally change of oar …   Etymology dictionary

  • week in — week in, week out Continuously without a break • • • Main Entry: ↑week …   Useful english dictionary

  • week — ► NOUN 1) a period of seven days. 2) the period of seven days generally reckoned from and to midnight on Saturday night. 3) chiefly Brit. (preceded by a specified day) a week after (that day). 4) the five days from Monday to Friday, or the time… …   English terms dictionary

  • Week — For more details on each day of the week, see Weekday names. For the TV station in the Peoria Bloomington, Illinois market, see WEEK TV. Weeks redirects here. For other uses, see Weeks (disambiguation). A week is a time unit equal to seven days.… …   Wikipedia

  • week — n. 1) to spend a week (somewhere) 2) last; next; this week 3) a week from (Tuesday) 4) by the week (she is paid by the week) 5) during the week 6) for a week (they came here for a week) 7) for weeks (she hasn t been here for weeks; AE also has:… …   Combinatory dictionary


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