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



    BrE BrE//jɪə(r)//
    , BrE//jɜː(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//jɪr//
    (abbreviation yr) School life
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  1. 1  (also calendar year) [countable] the period from 1 January to 31 December, that is 365 or 366 days, divided into 12 months in the year 1865 I lost my job earlier this year. Elections take place every year. The museum is open all (the) year round(= during the whole year). see also leap year, new year Culturethe calendarBritain and the US follow the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Roman Julian calendar in 1752. The year is divided into 12 months, with 30 or 31 days in each month, except February, which has 28 days. An extra day is added to February every fourth year, called a leap year, to keep the calendar in time with the moon. A well-known verse helps people remember how many days there are in each month:
    Thirty days hath September,April, June and November.All the rest have thirty-one,Excepting February alone,Which hath twenty-eight days clear,and twenty-nine in each leap year.
    The calendar year starts on 1 January, New Year's Day. The number of each year (2003, 2004, etc.) represents the number of years that have passed since the birth of Jesus Christ. The year 2000 marked the end of the second millennium (= a period of 1 000 years) since Christ was born. The years before Christ are described as BC (= before Christ), e.g. 55 BC, or BCE (= before the Common Era). The abbreviations AD (Latin Anno Domini, meaning ‘in the year of the Lord’) or CE (= Common Era) are put before or after the date for the years after Christ's birth, e.g. AD 44 or 44 AD, but they are not used with years after about 200 AD. Some cultural and religious groups use different calendars: the year 2000 in the Gregorian calendar began during the year 5760 in the Jewish calendar, 1420 in the Islamic calendar and 1921 in the Hindu calendar.The academic year used by schools and colleges in Britain runs from September to July, with short holidays at Christmas and in the spring and a long summer vacation. In the US the academic year runs from August or September to May or June. Many business companies have a financial year (= a period of accounting) that runs from April to the following March. The tax year in the US is the same as the calendar year but the tax year in Britain begins on 5 April. The reason is that in medieval times the calendar year began on 25 March, not 1 January. When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, an adjustment was needed and 11 days were removed from September 1752. To avoid being accused of collecting a full year's taxes in a short year, the government extended the end of the tax year 1752–3 to 4 April.Many festivals are celebrated during the year. Christmas and Easter are the main Christian festivals. Jews remember Passover and Yom Kippur. Ramadan, a month of fasting (= not eating during the day), and Eid ul-Fitr are celebrated by Muslims. Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, takes place in October or November, and the Chinese celebrate their new year in January or February. Special occasions such as Bonfire Night in Britain and Thanksgiving in the US are enjoyed by almost everyone
  2. 2  [countable] a period of 12 months, measured from any particular time It's exactly a year since I started working here. She gave up teaching three years ago. in the first year of their marriage the pre-war/war/post-war years (= the period before/during/after the war) I have happy memories of my years in Poland (= the time I spent there). see also gap year, light year, off year
  3. 3  [countable] a period of 12 months connected with a particular activity the academic/school year the tax year see also financial year
  4. 4[countable] (especially British English) (at a school, etc.) a level that you stay in for one year; a student at a particular level We started German in year seven. a year-seven pupil The first years do French. She was in my year at school. See related entries: School life
  5. 5  [countable, usually plural] age; time of life He was 14 years old when it happened. She looks young for her years. They were both only 20 years of age. a twenty-year-old man He died in his sixtieth year. She's getting on in years (= is no longer young).
  6. 6  years [plural] (informal) a long time It's years since we last met. They haven't seen each other for years. That's the best movie I've seen in years. We've had a lot of fun over the years.
  7. Word OriginOld English gē(a)r, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jaar and German Jahr, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hōra ‘season’.Extra examples Britain was invaded in the year 1066. Careful make-up and styling can take years off you. He soon realized that a lot had changed in the intervening years. He spent his sabbatical year doing research in Moscow. He spent last year trying to get a new job. He was on a gap year before going to university. His early years were spent in San Francisco. His wife’s death has put years on him. I hope to retire in a year/​in a year’s time. I paint the house every single year. I visited Morocco 20-odd years ago. I’ve been waiting for this moment all year long. In his later years, he drifted away from politics. In the past few years, she has become one of our top-selling authors. It happened during the Clinton years. It took him ten years to qualify as a vet. It’s the first time we’ve met in years. It’s usually much colder at this time of year. Next month, they celebrate fifty years of marriage. Over 10 000 people per year are injured in this type of accident. Over the past few years, we’ve made significant changes. She died the following year. She was born in Spain but spent her formative years in Italy. She won the race for the third successive year. She’s only ten years old. That was in the year of the great flood. That year saw the explosion of the Internet. The academic year runs from October to June. The book represents three years of hard work. The chart shows our performance over the past year. The children spent the war years abroad. The city tour runs all the year round. The death rate in any given year. The event has not proved popular in past years. The global economy means that all types of fruit and vegetables are available throughout the year. The last year went by in flash. The new range puts us light years ahead of the competition. The reforms will be fully implemented by the year 2007. The team has suffered a loss of form since the turn of the year. They had met once the previous year. They’re still friends after all these years. This year marks the 10th anniversary of her death. We aim to do even better in future years. We have high hopes for the coming year. We lived there for ten years. We worked for five long years on this project. We’re going skiing early in the new year. We’ve been friends for over twenty years. a peak year for exports children of tender years during the next academic year final-year university students in the next tax year profit for the current year to 31 December the boom years from 1993 to 2000 the early years of the 21st century the golden years of motoring First and second years usually live in college. The language students go abroad in their third year. The project is the work of a group of year-seven pupils. We didn’t start Latin until year nine. Year seven is the first year of secondary school.Idioms
    somebody’s declining years
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    (literary) the last years of somebody’s life
    (British English, informal) a very long time We've known each other for donkey's years. I met him once, but that was donkey’s years ago. See related entries: Farm animals
    man, woman, car, etc. of the year
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    a person or thing that people decide is the best in a particular field in a particular year He was chosen as TV personality of the year.
    not/never in a hundred, etc. years
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    (informal) used to emphasize that you will/would never do something I'd never have thought of that in a million years.
    of advanced years, somebody’s advanced age
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    used in polite expressions to describe somebody as ‘very old’ He was a man of advanced years. (humorous) Even at my advanced age I still know how to enjoy myself!
    to make somebody feel or look older The illness put years on him. (informal, humorous) the desire for new sexual experience that is thought to be felt after seven years of marriage
    take years off somebody
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    to make somebody feel or look younger That haircut takes years off her.
    the turn of the century/year
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    the time when a new century/year starts It was built at the turn of the century.
    every year for many years People return year after year. as the years pass; each year Year by year their affection for each other grew stronger.
    the year dot (British English) (North American English the year one)
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    (informal) a very long time ago I've been going there every summer since the year dot.
    every year
    year of grace, year of our Lord
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    (formal) any particular year after the birth of Christ
    (used especially when talking about figures, prices, etc.) each year, compared with the last year Spending has increased year on year. a year-on-year increase in spending
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: year