Definition of day noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



1 [countable] a period of 24 hoursI saw Tom three days ago.“What day is it today?” “Monday.”We're going away in a few days.They left the day before yesterday (= two days ago).We're meeting the day after tomorrow (= in two days).New Year's DayTake the medicine three times a day.We can't go there today. You can go another day. see also field day, off day, red-letter day2 [uncountable] the time between when it becomes light in the morning and when it becomes dark in the eveningThe sun was shining all day.I could sit and watch the river all day long.He works at night and sleeps during the day.Nocturnal animals sleep by day and hunt by night.3 [countable, usually singular] the hours of the day when you are awake, working, etc.a seven-hour working dayIt's been a long day (= I've been very busy).Did you have a good day?She didn't do a full day's work.I took a half day off yesterday.Have a nice day! see also workday4 [countable, usually plural] a particular period of time or historyin George Washington's daythe early days of computersMost women stayed at home in those days.(informal)in the old days (= in the past) see also glory days, heyday, nowadays, the present dayhelp There are many other compounds ending in day. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.IDIOMS

all in a day's work

part of your normal working life and not unusual
all in a day's work

any day (now)

(informal) very soonThe letter should arrive any day now.any dayany day now

at the end of the day

(informal) used to introduce the most important fact after everything has been consideredAt the end of the day, he'll still have to make his own the end of the day

back in the day

in the past
My dad's always talking about how great everything was back in the day.back in the day

back in the days

at a particular time in the past
I was a fan back in the days when the band wasn't yet famous.back in the days

break of day/dawn

(literary) the moment in the early hours of the morning when it begins to get lightbreak of daybreak of dawn

call it a day

(informal) to decide or agree to stop doing somethingAfter forty years in politics I think it's time for me to call it a day (= to retire).call it a day

carry/win the day

(formal) to be successful against someone or somethingDespite strong opposition, the ruling party carried the day.carry the daywin the day

(as) clear as day

easy to see or understand
clear as dayas clear as day

day after day

each day repeatedly (used especially when something is boring or annoying)
She hates doing the same work day after after day

day by day

all the time; a little at a time and gradually
Day by day his condition by day

day in, day out


day in and day out

every day for a long period of time
Living on junk food day in, day out is not good for in, day out

a day of reckoning

the time when someone will have to deal with the result of something that they have done wrong, or be punished for something bad that they have done
a day of reckoning

someone's/something's days are numbered

a person or thing will not continue to live, exist, or be successful for much longer
His days as leader of the party are numbered.Whatever the protests, the school's days are numbered and it will be closed down.days are numbered

end your days/life (in something)

to spend the last part of your life in a particular state or place
He ended his days in poverty.end your daysend your days inend your lifeend your life in

from day one

(informal) from the beginningIt's never worked from day one.This game makes reading and spelling fun from day one.from day one

from day to day

1 with no thoughts or plans for the futureThey live from day to day, taking care of their sick daughter.2 if a situation changes from day to day, it changes oftenA baby's need for food can vary from day to day.from day to day

from one day to the next

if a situation changes from one day to the next, it is uncertain and not likely to stay the same each day
I never know what to expect from one day to the next.from one day to the next

from that day/time forth

(literary) beginning on that day; from that timeFrom that day forth she gave me endless friendship and encouragement.from that day forthfrom that time forth

give me something/someone (any day/time)

(informal) used to say that you prefer a particular thing or person to the one that has just been mentionedWe don't go out much. Give me a quiet night in front of the TV any day!give megive me any daygive megive me any time

your good deed for the day

a helpful, kind thing that you do
I took Sarah's children to school so I've done my good deed for the day.your good deed for the day

the good/bad old days

an earlier period of time in your life or in history that is seen as better/worse than the present
That was in the bad old days of rampant inflation.the good old daysthe bad old days

have had your day

to no longer be successful, powerful, etc.
She's had her day as a supermodel.have had your day

have a nice day!

(informal) a friendly way of saying goodbye, especially to customershave a nice day!

have seen/known better days

(humorous) to be in poor conditionOur car has seen better days!have seen better dayshave known better days

if he's, she's, etc. a day

(informal) (used when talking about someone's age) at leastHe must be 70 if he's a day!if he's, she's, etc. a day

in all my born days

(old-fashioned, informal) used when you are very surprised at something you have never heard or seen beforeI've never heard such nonsense in all my born all my born days

in the cold light of day

when you have had time to think calmly about something; in the morning when things are clearer
These things always look different in the cold light of the cold light of day

in someone's day

1 during the part of someone's life when they were most successful, famous, etc.She was a great dancer in her day.2 when someone was youngIn my day, there were plenty of jobs when you left school.In Grandpa's day, owning a television was very day

in this day and age

now, in the modern world
in this day and age

it's not someone's day

(informal) used when several unfortunate or unpleasant things happen on the same dayMy car broke down and then I locked myself out—it's just not my day!it's not day

it's not every day (that...)

used when something unusual happens, especially something good or enjoyable
It's not every day that I have such an expensive lunch!it's not every dayit's not every day that...

late in the game/day

(disapproving) after the time when an action could be successfulHe finally came up with some great ideas, but it was much too late in the game to be of any use.late in the gamelate in the day

like night and day

if two people or things are like night and day, they are completely different from each other
like night and day

the livelong day

(literary) the whole length of the daythe livelong day

live to fight/see another day

(saying) used to say that although you have failed or had a bad experience, you will continuelive to fight another daylive to see another day

make someone's day

to make someone feel very happy on a particular day
The phone call from Mike really made my day.make day

make a day of it

(informal) to make a particular enjoyable activity last for a whole day instead of only part of itWe took a picnic lunch to the river and made a day of it.make a day of it

night and day


day and night

all the time; continuously
The machines are kept running night and day.The store is open day and night.night and day

not give someone the time of day

to refuse to speak to someone because you do not like or respect them
Since the success of her novel, people shake her hand who once wouldn't have given her the time of day.not give the time of day

not have all day

to not have much time
Come on! We don't have all day!not have all day

of someone's day

during a particular period of time when someone lived
the best player of his dayBessie Smith was the Madonna of her day.of day

of the day

that is served on a particular day in a restaurant
soup of the dayof the day

one day

at some time in the future, or on a particular day in the past
One day, I want to leave the city and move to the country.One day, he walked out of the house with a small bag and never came day

one of these days

before a long time has passed
One of these days you'll come back and ask me to forgive of these days

one of those days

(informal) a day when there are a lot of mistakes and a lot of things go wrongIt's been one of those days!one of those days

the order of the day

common, popular, or suitable at a particular time or for a particular occasion
Pessimism seems to be the order of the day.the order of the day

the other day/morning/evening/week

I saw Jack the other day.the other day/evening/weekthe other morning/evening/week

pass the time of day (with someone)

to say hello to someone and have a short conversation with them
pass the time of daypass the time of day with

Rome wasn't built in a day

(saying) used to say that a complicated task will take a long time and needs patienceRome wasn't built in a day

your salad days

(old-fashioned) the time when you are young and do not have much experience of lifeyour salad days

save the day/situation

to prevent failure or defeat, when this seems certain to happen
Orr's late goal saved the day for the the daysave the situation

save, keep, etc. something for a rainy day

to save something, especially money, for a time when you will really need it
save, keep, etc. for a rainy day

take it/things one day at a time

(informal) to not think about what will happen in the futureI don't know if he'll get better. We're just taking it one day at a time.take it one day at a timetake things one day at a time

that'll be the day

(informal, ironic) used when you are saying that something is very unlikely to happenPaul? Apologize? That'll be the day!that'll be the day

these days

(informal) used to talk about the present, especially when you are comparing it with the pastThese days kids grow up so quickly.these days

those were the days

(informal) used to suggest that a time in the past was happier or better than nowthose were the days

to the day

It's been three years to the day since we the day

to this day

even now, when a lot of time has passed
To this day, I still don't understand why he did this day