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



    BrE BrE//deɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//deɪ//
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  1. 1  [countable] a period of 24 hours I saw Tom three days ago. ‘What day is it today?’ ‘Monday.’ We’re going away in a few days/in a few days’ time. They left the day before yesterday (= two days ago). We're meeting the day after tomorrow (= in two days). New Year’s Day Take the medicine three times a day. We can't go there today. You can go another day. see also big day, field day, off day, red-letter day, sports day
  2. 2  [uncountable] the time between when it becomes light in the morning and when it becomes dark in the evening The 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. 3  [countable, usually singular] the hours of the day when you are awake, working, etc. a seven-hour working day It'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. (North American English) Have a nice day! see also workday
  4. 4  [countable, usually plural] a particular period of time or history in Queen Victoria’s day the early days of computers Most women stayed at home in those days. (informal) in the old days (= in the past) see also glory days, heyday, nowadays, present day There are many other compounds ending in day. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  5. Word OriginOld English dæg, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dag and German Tag.Extra examples As day dawned I found her already hard at work. Be sure to start the day with a good breakfast. Gone are the days when you could do a week’s shopping and still have change from £20. Gone are the days when you could smoke in restaurants. He thought of her less as the days passed. He’s getting stronger by the day. How did your day go? I am entitled to ten paid sick days a year. I do a 9-hour day I hope we meet again some day. I knew I had a full day’s driving ahead of me. I never thought I would see the day when free elections would be held in this country. I was in your area the other day. It happened on the very day that Kemp was murdered. It was the day of the big game. It’s been one of the worst days of my life. It’s been one of those days when everything’s gone wrong. Kids grow up so quickly these days. Memories of happy days on the hills never fade. Morale was sinking day by day. Much has changed since the days of my youth. On a bad day chaos reigns and nobody can predict when a plane will leave. On the day of his wedding he was very nervous. Some players go into management once their playing days are over. That was in the bad old days of rampant inflation. The letter arrived the very next day. The restaurant is closed all day Saturday. The tabloid press had a field day with the latest government scandal. They stayed for ten days. Things were very different in my grandfather’s day. We hope to finish the job in a few days. We preferred to travel at night and rest by day. We spent the day gardening. We went to the beach for the day. We’re open every day except Sunday. When that day comes, I plan to be far away. a fine summer’s day a hard day at the office a study of European drama, from Ibsen to the present day in his younger days in the early days of television the dark days of recession the government of the day the heady days of the ‘swinging sixties’ the pattern of the school day those killed in the hail of bullets fired on that fateful day Ah, those were the days! Dickens gives us a vivid picture of poverty in Queen Victoria’s day. He works at night and sleeps during the day. I could sit and watch the river all day long. I took half a day off yesterday. It’s been a long day. Most women stayed at home in those days. She didn’t do a full day’s work. Slavery continues to exist, even in this day and age. The short winter days prevented them from finishing all the work. The sun was shining all day. There were no supermarkets in the old days when I was a boy. What a beautiful day!Idioms part of your normal working life and not unusual (informal) very soon The letter should arrive any day now. (informal) used to introduce the most important fact after everything has been considered At the end of the day, he'll still have to make his own decision. in the past My dad's always talking about how great everything was back in the day. at a particular time in the past I was a fan back in the days when the band wasn't yet famous. (literary) the moment in the early hours of the morning when it begins to get light (informal) to decide or agree to stop doing something After forty years in politics I think it's time for me to call it a day (= to retire). (formal) to be successful against somebody/something Despite strong opposition, the ruling party carried the day. easy to see or understand  each day repeatedly (used especially when something is boring or annoying) She hates doing the same work day after day. all the time; a little at a time and gradually Day by day his condition improved. every day for a long period of time Living on junk food day in day out is not good for you. the time when somebody will have to deal with the result of something that they have done wrong, or be punished for something bad that they have done
    somebody’s/something’s days are numbered
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    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.
    end your days/life (in something)
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    to spend the last part of your life in a particular state or place He ended his days in poverty.
    every dog has his/its day
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    (saying) everyone has good luck or success at some point in their life
    the evil hour/day/moment
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    (often humorous) the time when you have to do something difficult or unpleasant I’d better go and see the dentist—I can’t put off the evil hour any longer.
    the amount of fruit or vegetables that some organizations say you should eat in order to be healthy Start your five a day with a banana for breakfast. (informal) from the beginning It's never worked from day one. This game makes reading and spelling fun from day one.
    1. 1with no thoughts or plans for the future They live from day to day, looking after their sick daughter.
    2. 2if a situation changes from day to day, it changes often A baby's need for food can vary from day to day.
    from one day to the next
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    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 that day/time forth
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    (literary) beginning on that day; from that time From that day forth she gave me endless friendship and encouragement.
    give me something/somebody (any day/time)
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    (informal) used to say that you prefer a particular thing or person to the one that has just been mentioned We don't go out much. Give me a quiet night in front of the TV any day!
    your good deed for the day
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    a helpful, kind thing that you do I took Sarah’s children to school so I’ve done my good deed for the day.
    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. to no longer be successful, powerful, etc. She's had her day as a supermodel. (informal, especially North American English) a friendly way of saying goodbye, especially to customers
    have seen/known better days
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    (humorous) to be in poor condition Our car has seen better days!
    if he’s, she’s, etc. a day
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    (informal) (used when talking about somebody’s age) at least He must be 70 if he's a day!
    (old-fashioned, informal) used when you are very surprised at something you have never heard or seen before I've never heard such nonsense in all my born days.
    in the cold light of day
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    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 day.
    1. 1during the part of somebody’s life when they were most successful, famous, etc. She was a great dancer in her day.
    2. 2when somebody was young In my day, there were plenty of jobs when you left school. In Grandfather’s day, owning a television was very unusual.
    now, in the modern world
    it’s early days (yet)
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    (British English) used to say that it is too soon to be sure how a situation will develop It’s early days yet. We don’t know if the play will be a success.
    it’s not somebody’s day
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    (informal) used when several unfortunate or unpleasant things happen on the same day My car broke down and then I locked myself out—it's just not my day!
    (disapproving) after the time when an action could be successful He started working hard much too late in the day—he couldn't possibly catch up. (literary) the whole length of the day
    live to fight another day
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    (saying) used to say that although you have failed or had a bad experience, you will continue
    to make somebody feel very happy on a particular day The phone call from Mike really made my day. See related entries: Happiness (informal) to make a particular enjoyable activity last for a whole day instead of only part of it We took a picnic lunch to the river and made a day of it.
    night and day, day and night
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    all the time; continuously The machines are kept running night and day. The store is open day and night.
    a person or thing that makes people excited for a short time but does not last very long
    not give somebody the time of day
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    to refuse to speak to somebody 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.
    to not have much time Come on! We don't have all day! during a particular period of time when somebody lived the best player of his day Bessie Smith was the Madonna of her day. that is served on a particular day in a restaurant soup of the day used to emphasize what you are saying when you are surprised, shocked or annoyed Oh my days! Is that true?  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 back. before a long time has passed One of these days you'll come back and ask me to forgive you. (informal) a day when there are a lot of mistakes and a lot of things go wrong It's been one of those days! common, popular or suitable at a particular time or for a particular occasion Pessimism seems to be the order of the day.
    the other day/morning/evening/week
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     recently I saw Jack the other day.
    pass the time of day (with somebody)
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    to say hello to somebody and have a short conversation with them
    (as) plain as a pikestaff, (as) plain as day, (as) plain as the nose on your face
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    very obvious
    Rome wasn’t built in a day
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    (saying) used to say that a complicated task will take a long time and needs patience
    (old-fashioned) the time when you are young and do not have much experience of life to prevent failure or defeat, when this seems certain to happen Gerrard's late goal saved the day for Liverpool.
    save, keep, etc. something for a rainy day
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    to save something, especially money, for a time when you will really need it See related entries: Rain
    at an unknown time in the future Some day I'll be famous.
    take it/things one day at a time
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    (informal) to not think about what will happen in the future I don't know if he'll get better. We're just taking it one day at a time.
    (informal, ironic) used when you are saying that something is very unlikely to happen Paul? Apologize? That'll be the day!  (informal) used to talk about the present, especially when you are comparing it with the past These days kids grow up so quickly. (informal) used to suggest that a time in the past was happier or better than now exactly It's been three years to the day since we met. even now, when a lot of time has passed To this day, I still don't understand why he did it.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: day