(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 [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 [countable] a period of 12 months connected with a particular activity the academic/school year the tax year see also financial year
- 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 [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 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. Word Origin Old English gē(a)r, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jaar and German Jahr, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hōra
(informal) a very long time ago I've been going there every summer since the year dot. every year (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