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Easter definition


This page has 10 definitions of Easter in English. Easter is a noun, proper noun and verb. Examples of how to use Easter in a sentence are shown. Also define these 65 related words and terms: Christianity, Christian, feast, commemorate, resurrection, Jesus Christ, celebrate, first, Sunday, Monday, follow, full moon, occur, vernal equinox, range, Western Christianity, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, March, April, Eastern Christianity, Coptic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, May, Eastertide, period, Whitsun, make, act, receive, Eucharist, education, law, Easter term, summer, term, educational, institution, run, June, third, legal, year, upper, court, England and Wales, Ireland, sit, hear, case, paganism, festival, hold, honour, goddess, Eostre, Ostara, month, Jewish, Passover, surname, Easter, spend, season, and place.

See also: easter



The noun is derived from Middle English ester, Ester, estern, Eestour (Christian festival of Easter; Easter Sunday; Eastertide; Jewish Passover) [and other forms],[1] from Old English ēaster, ēastre (Easter) [and other forms], apparently from Ēastre, Ēostre (Anglo-Saxon goddess (of the dawn?) whose festival was celebrated around the vernal equinox), from Proto-Germanic *Austrǭ (Anglo-Saxon goddess; Easter; springtime), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ews- (dawn; east) or *h₂wes- (to dawn; to dwell, live, reside; to spend the night, stay).[2] The English word is cognate with German Low German Oostern (Easter), Old High German ōstarūn (modern German Ostern), and is a doublet of east.

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]



Easter (countable and uncountable, plural Easters)

  1. (Christianity)
    1. A Christian feast commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, celebrated on the first Sunday (and Monday) following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox, ranging in most of Western Christianity (such as Protestantism and Roman Catholicism) from March 22 to April 25, and in Eastern Christianity (such as the Coptic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church) from April 4 to May 8.
      We spent each of the past five Easters together as a family.
    2. Eastertide (the period from Easter to Whitsun).
    3. (specifically, Roman Catholicism, dated, now chiefly figuratively) Usually preceded by an inflection of make: the act of receiving the Eucharist during Easter.
    • Monday definition
      The second day of the week in many religious traditions, and the first day of the week in systems using the ISO 8601 norm. It follows Sunday and precedes Tuesday.
    • Vernal Equinox definition
      The moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator while tilting towards from the observer, taking place in March in the northern hemisphere and September in the southern hemisphere.
    • Receive definition
      To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, etc.; to accept; to be given something. (1 of 10 receive definitions)
  2. (education, law) Short for Easter term (the summer term of the University of Cambridge, and other educational institutions, running from April to June; the third term of the legal year, running from April to May, during which the upper courts of England and Wales, and Ireland, sit to hear cases).
    • Summer definition
      One of four seasons, traditionally the second, marked by the longest and typically hottest days of the year due to the inclination of the Earth and thermal lag. Typically regarded as being from June 21 to September 22 or 23 in parts of the USA, the months of June, July and August in the United Kingdom and the months of December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. (1 of 3 summer definitions)
    • Run definition
      To move swiftly.
      1. To move forward quickly upon two feet by alternately making a short jump off either foot. (1 of 59 run definitions)
    • Court definition
      An enclosed space; a courtyard; an uncovered area shut in by the walls of a building, or by different buildings; also, a space opening from a street and nearly surrounded by houses; a blind alley. (1 of 15 court definitions)
    • Sit definition
      To be in a position in which the upper body is upright and supported by the buttocks. (1 of 16 sit definitions)
  3. (paganism) A festival held in honour of the goddess Eostre or Ostara, celebrated at the vernal equinox or within the month of April; Eostre, Ostara.
    • Festival definition
      Pertaining to a feast or feast day. (Now only as the noun used attributively.)
  4. (obsolete) The Jewish Passover.
    • Jewish definition
      Being a Jew, or relating to Jews, their ethnicity, religion or culture. (1 of 2 Jewish definitions)

Derived terms



See also

Proper noun


  1. A surname.


Easter (third-person singular simple present Easters, present participle Eastering, simple past and past participle Eastered)

  1. (intransitive) To celebrate Easter.
  2. (intransitive) To spend the Easter season in some place.



  1. ^ ēster(n, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “Easter, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “Easter, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ Easter, v.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2018

Further reading