Definition of vacation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//vəˈkeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//vəˈkeɪʃn//
    ; BrE BrE//veɪˈkeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//veɪˈkeɪʃn//
    University life, Types of holiday/vacation, School life
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  1. 1  [countable] (in Britain) one of the periods of time when universities or courts of law are closed; (in the US) one of the periods of time when schools, colleges, universities or courts of law are closed the Christmas/Easter/summer vacation (British English) the long vacation (= the summer vacation) see also vac See related entries: University life, School life
  2. 2  (North American English) (British English holiday) [uncountable, countable] a period of time spent travelling or resting away from home They're on vacation in Hawaii right now. You look tired—you should take a vacation. The job includes two weeks' paid vacation. a vacation home CollocationsTravel and tourismHolidays/​vacations have/​take (British English) a holiday/(North American English) a vacation/​a break/​a day off/(British English) a gap year go on/​be on holiday/​vacation/​leave/​honeymoon/​safari/​a trip/​a tour/​a cruise/​a pilgrimage go backpacking/​camping/​hitchhiking/​sightseeing plan a trip/​a holiday/​a vacation/​your itinerary book accommodation/​a hotel room/​a flight/​tickets have/​make/​cancel a reservation/(especially British English) booking rent a villa/(both British English) a holiday home/​a holiday cottage (especially British English) hire/ (especially North American English) rent a car/​bicycle/​moped stay in a hotel/​a bed and breakfast/​a youth hostel/​a villa/(both British English) a holiday home/​a caravan cost/​charge $100 a/​per night for a single/​double/​twin/​standard/(British English) en suite room check into/​out of a hotel/​a motel/​your room pack/​unpack your suitcase/​bags call/​order room service cancel/​cut short a trip/​holiday/​vacationForeign travel apply for/​get/​renew a/​your passport take out/​buy/​get travel insurance catch/​miss your plane/​train/​ferry/​connecting flight fly (in)/travel in business/​economy class make/​have a brief/​two-day/​twelve-hour stopover/(North American English also) layover in Hong Kong experience/​cause/​lead to delays check (in)/collect/​get/​lose (your) (especially British English) luggage/(especially North American English) baggage be charged for/​pay excess baggage board/​get on/​leave/​get off the aircraft/​plane/​ship/​ferry taxi down/​leave/​approach/​hit/​overshoot the runway experience/​hit/​encounter severe turbulence suffer from/​recover from/​get over your jet lag/​travel sicknessThe tourist industry attract/​draw/​bring tourists/​visitors encourage/​promote/​hurt tourism promote/​develop ecotourism build/​develop/​visit a tourist/​holiday/(especially British English) seaside/​beach/​ski resort work for/​be operated by a major hotel chain be served by/​compete with low-cost/(especially North American English) low-fare/​budget airlines book something through/​make a booking through/​use a travel agent contact/​check with your travel agent/​tour operator book/​be on/​go on a package deal/​holiday/​tour buy/​bring back (tacky/​overpriced) souvenirs British/​Americanholiday / vacation You use holiday (or holidays) in British English and vacation in North American English to describe the regular periods of time when you are not at work or school, or time that you spend travelling or resting away from home:I get four weeks’ holiday/​vacation a year. He’s on holiday/​vacation this week. I like to take my holiday/​vacation in the winter. the summer holidays/​vacation. In North American English a holiday (or a public holiday) is a single day when government offices, schools, banks and businesses are closed:The school will be closed Monday because it’s a holiday. This is called a bank holiday in British English. The holidays is used in North American English to refer to the time in late December and early January that includes Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year. Vacation in British English is used mainly to mean one of the periods when universities are officially closed for the students. See related entries: Types of holiday/vacation
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vacatio(n-), from vacare ‘be unoccupied’. Cultureholidays and vacationsHoliday in American English means a day that is special for some reason. Most people do not go to work on an important holiday, but may do so on a minor one. Few people have to work on federal (= national) holidays such as New Year's Day or Independence Day, though they may celebrate, for example, St Valentine's Day but still go to work or school. Apart from the main federal holidays each state decides its own holidays. The period from Thanksgiving to the end of the year when there are several important holidays is called the holiday season or simply the holidays (e.g. Stores are getting ready for the holiday season.). In British English, special days like New Year's Day are called bank holiday s or public holidays.Holiday in British English also means a period of time spent away from work or school, usually of a week or longer. This is called a vacation in American English. So, the period of several weeks around Christmas when schools are closed is called the Christmas holiday in Britain and the Christmas vacation in the US.Holiday and vacation are also used to refer to the period when people go away for a time to a beach resort or to the country, or go travelling. British people have about four weeks' paid leave from their jobs. Most take their main holiday in the summer. People without children of school age often go on holiday in the off season when prices are lower and there are fewer other holidaymakers (= people on holiday). Some people stay in Britain for their holiday, but many rent a cottage in the country or go to beach resorts in Europe for one or two weeks. Some travel to the US or visit India, the Far East and other parts of the world. Many British people going abroad buy package holidays sold on the Internet or through high-street travel agents, which include transport, accommodation and sometimes excursions (= local trips to places of interest) in the price. Some people see their holidays as an opportunity to relax in the sun, but others prefer activity holidays during which they can visit famous buildings or go walking in the countryside. A few go to a holiday centre, often called a holiday village, which provides entertainment for all the family. People often arrange their holiday a long time in advance and look forward to it through the winter. Many people also have a short break, usually three or four days, e.g. at a country cottage in Britain or in a European city.Americans have less paid vacation, typically two weeks. People with important jobs or who have worked in their company for many years may have longer vacations. People with low-paid jobs in shops, fast food restaurants, etc., often have no paid vacation at all.The typical family vacation in the US involves driving to a destination within the country. Some people visit relatives or go sightseeing in cities like Washington, DC, or New York. The national parks, like Yellowstone National Park or the Grand Canyon, are also popular, and people sometimes rent a cabin (BrE cottage) in the country. Families often go to amusement parks (= places with many activities for children) like Disney World in Florida. People who do not drive usually fly to a place as air fares are relatively cheap. Package tours are not very common and most Americans arrange their transport and accommodation separately.Many Americans have not been on vacation outside North America. However, Europe has always been a popular destination for people wanting to travel further, and trips to South America and the Far East are increasingly common, especially with younger travellers. Cruises (= journeys by ship, visiting different places) have also become very popular.Extra examples Employees no longer have a fixed number of vacation days. He hadn’t taken a real vacation in years. I have put in for vacation time. I hope the bad weather didn’t ruin your vacation. I may go on an extended vacation to Bermuda. I wasn’t able to use all of my vacation time last year. I wrote the essay during the Christmas vacation. I’m going travelling in the vacation. Military personnel receive a month of paid vacation. Most students get vacation jobs. Orlando is a popular vacation resort for British tourists. She needed a little vacation to clear her head. She took a well-deserved vacation to Mexico. She was going to spend her vacation in Hawaii all by herself. She went home to her parents for the Easter vacation. Students had a two-week vacation at the end of December. The President cut short his working vacation by two days. The long summer vacation breaks the rhythm of instruction. The sisters are on summer vacation with their family. He has a private jet and a vacation home in Switzerland. He went on vacation some time last week. How was your vacation? Let us help you with your vacation plans! She’s gone on vacation to Massachusetts. The area is a popular vacation choice for families. The couple had left for a European vacation. The job includes two weeks’ paid vacation. The schools were closed for summer vacation. The senator is on vacation in Maine. Their son is home on vacation. They usually go on a ski vacation this time of year. Vacation time and other benefits were cut. When I got back from my vacation, there was a letter waiting for me. the long vacation
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vacation

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