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



    BrE BrE//ˈhɒlədeɪ//
    , also BrE//ˈhɒlədi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːlədeɪ//
    Religious holidays and festivals, School life, Types of holiday/vacation
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  1. 1  [uncountable] (also holidays [plural]) (both British English) (North American English vacation) a period of time when you are not at work or school the school/summer/Christmas, etc. holidays I'm afraid Mr Walsh is away on holiday this week. The package includes 20 days' paid holiday a year. holiday pay a holiday job (= done by students during the school holidays)
  2. 2  [countable] (British English) (North American English vacation) a period of time spent travelling or resting away from home a camping/skiing/walking, etc. holiday an adventure holiday a family holiday a foreign holiday a holiday cottage/home/resort the holiday industry a holiday romance Where are you going for your holidays this year? a two-week holiday in the sun They met while on holiday in Greece. We went on holiday together last summer. I haven’t had a decent holiday for years. Wordfinderaccommodation, book, full board, holiday, hotel, reception, reservation, room service, suite, vacancy 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 see also busman’s holiday, package tour Wordfinderbreak, camp, cruise, holiday, honeymoon, package tour, self-catering, tourist, travel, visa See related entries: Types of holiday/vacation
  3. 3  [countable] a day when most people do not go to work or school, especially because of a religious or national celebration a national holiday Today is a holiday in Wales. see also bank holiday, public holiday See related entries: Religious holidays and festivals, School life
  4. 4  holidays [plural] (North American English) the time in December and early January that includes Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year Happy Holidays! 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.
  5. Word OriginOld English hāligdæg ‘holy day’. 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 Have you booked your summer holiday yet? I go back a couple of times a year to celebrate the holidays with my family. I got ill and had to cancel my holiday. I have three weeks’ holiday a year. I learned to windsurf on an activity holiday. I really need a holiday! I’m afraid Mr Adamek is on holiday this week. I’m just trying to spread a little holiday cheer. I’m taking the rest of my holiday in October. It can be difficult to keep children occupied during the long summer holidays. My aunt’s coming to stay in the holidays. She had a holiday job as a gardener when she was a student. She spent her holiday decorating the flat. The centre is now closed for the Christmas holidays. The pool is open throughout the holiday season. The recession hit the package holiday business hard. The roads will be busy on Monday as it’s a holiday weekend. Their holiday romance turned into a lasting relationship. They also have a holiday home at the seaside. They met while on holiday in Spain. This holiday season was the worst in 25 years for retailers. This is your chance to win the holiday of a lifetime. We always spend the holidays together. We had a disastrous camping holiday. We’re going on holiday to France this summer. What would be your dream holiday? You are entitled to 24 days’ paid holiday per year. You should take out holiday insurance before you leave. a popular seaside holiday resort All we could afford was a week’s holiday at my parents’ place. Book your winter holiday now. Choose from over 200 great holiday destinations! Have a fantastic holiday! Have you ever been on a camping holiday? He’s never had a holiday abroad. How do you usually spend your holiday? How many days’ holiday do you get a year? I picked up a few holiday brochures on the way home. I’ve never been one for holiday romances. If you win, we’ll send you on a holiday of a lifetime! It’s a popular holiday destination. It’s the school holidays at the moment. Let’s have a look at your holiday photos. Make sure you have holiday insurance. More and more people are taking foreign holidays. My assistant is on holiday this week. Package holidays are generally becoming less popular. She doesn’t get any paid holiday. She works as a holiday rep. She works for a holiday company. The neighbours are away on holiday. The president’s birthday was declared a national holiday. The town is now a bustling holiday resort. Today is a holiday in Scotland. Try us first for your best family holiday ever! We had to cancel our holiday at the last minute. We supply everything you will need for your adventure holiday. We’re going away over the Christmas holidays. We’re going on a skiing holiday in Austria. What are you going to do during the summer holidays? Win a dream holiday to the Bahamas. You are entitled to four weeks’ annual holiday. Your holiday entitlement is 25 days a year.