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holiday [noun]

[C or U] UK (UK informal holidays , UK informal hols , US vacation ) a time, often one or two weeks, when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax

US /ˈhɑː.lə.deɪ/ 
UK /ˈhɒl.ə.deɪ/ 

تعطيلى‌، (روز) تعطيل‌


summer holidays

تعطيلات‌ تابستان‌

Oxford Essential Dictionary



1 (British) (American vacation) a time when you do not go to work or school, and often go and stay away from home:
The school holidays start next week.
We're going to the coast for our summer holiday.
Mrs Smith isn't here this week. She's on holiday.

2 a day when most people do not go to work or school, especially because of a religious or national celebration:
Next Monday is a holiday.

A day when everybody has a holiday is called a public holiday in Britain and the US. In Britain it is also called a bank holiday.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


I. holiday1 S1 W2 /ˈhɒlədi, ˈhɒlɪdi, -deɪ $ ˈhɑːlədeɪ/ BrE AmE noun
[Language: Old English; Origin: haligdæg 'holy day']
1. [uncountable and countable] British English (also holidays) a time of rest from work, school etc SYN vacation American English:
The school holidays start tomorrow.
on holiday
I’m away on holiday until the 1st of June.
in the holidays
He came to stay with us in the school holidays.
holiday from
a holiday from her usual responsibilities
In everyday British English, when someone is temporarily away from their work or studies, people often say they are off, rather than on holiday. Note, however, that off can also mean that someone is away from their work or studies because they are sick:
▪ ‘Where’s Kate?’ ‘She’s off this week.’
2. [uncountable and countable] British English (also holidays) a period of time when you travel to another place for pleasure SYN vacation American English:
We’re going to Spain for our holidays.
on holiday
He caught malaria while on holiday in Africa.
I haven’t had a proper holiday for two years.
3. [countable] a day fixed by law on which people do not have to go to work or school:
The 4th of July is a national holiday in the US.
4. the holiday season (also the holidays)
a) American English the period between Thanksgiving and New Year
b) British English the period in the summer when most people take a holiday
⇨ ↑bank holiday, ↑public holiday
• • •
Holidays is usually used after 'the', 'my', 'your' etc when it refers to a single period when you are travelling or are not working or studying:
▪ Soon it will be the holidays.
▪ Where do you want to go for your holidays?
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
■ verbs
go on holiday The children were excited about going on holiday.
have/take a holiday Teachers cannot take holidays during term time.
book a holiday I booked the holiday online.
a skiing/camping/walking etc holiday They went on a camping holiday in France.
a package holiday (=a holiday in which you pay a price that includes travel, room, and food) The company organizes package holidays to Spain and Greece.
a summer holiday They were going to a house on the coast for their summer holidays.
a winter holiday Why not try a winter holiday for a change?
a family holiday I first visited Orkney on a family holiday when I was a boy.
an annual holiday (=a holiday you take every year) We were getting ready for our annual holiday in Cornwall.
your dream holiday (=the best holiday you can imagine) They won a dream holiday for two to the Caribbean.
■ holiday + NOUN
a holiday resort (=a place with many hotels where a lot of people go on holiday) a holiday resort in Spain
a holiday destination (=a town or country where a lot of people go on holiday) Marmaris is one of Turkey's most popular holiday destinations.
a holiday brochure (=a magazine that shows what holidays you can take) We were looking through holiday brochures thinking about the summer.
holiday photos (also holiday snaps informal) (=photographs that you take when you are on holiday) Do you want to see our holiday snaps?
a holiday romance (=a brief romantic relationship with someone you meet on holiday) It was just a holiday romance; I never saw him again.
a holiday abroad (=a holiday in a country other than the one you live in) They were planning a holiday abroad that year.
■ phrases
the holiday of a lifetime (=a very good or expensive holiday that you will only take once) We took the family on a holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.
• • •
vacation especially American English, holiday especially British English time you spend away from school or work: Are you taking a vacation this summer? | We met on holiday in Cyprus. | What are you doing in the school holidays?
holiday a day that is set by law, when no one has to go to work or school: the Thanksgiving holiday | New Year's Day is a national holiday. | In 2002, there was an extra public holiday to mark the Queen's golden jubilee. | the August bank holiday (=day when all the banks and shops are closed – used in British English)
break a time when you stop working or studying in order to rest, or a short vacation from school: a ten-minute coffee break | Lots of college kids come to the beaches during the spring break.
leave a time when you are allowed not to work: We get four weeks' annual leave (=paid time off work each year). | He has been taking a lot of sick leave (=time off work because you are ill) recently. | Angela is on maternity leave (= time off work when having a baby). | He was given compassionate leave (=time off work because someone close to you has died, is very ill etc) to go to his father's funeral.
sabbatical [usually singular] a period when someone, especially a teacher, stops doing their usual work in order to study or travel: She was on sabbatical for six months. | I'm thinking of taking a sabbatical.
furlough a period of time when a soldier or someone working in another country can return to their own country as a holiday: While on furlough, he and his girlfriend got married.
R & R (rest and relaxation) a holiday, especially one given to people in the army, navy etc after a long period of hard work or during a war: Soldiers in Vietnam were taken to Hawaii for R & R.
II. holiday2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive]
British English to spend your holiday in a place – used especially in news reports SYN vacation American English
holiday in/at
They’re holidaying in Majorca.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary




holi·day [holiday holidays holidayed holidaying] noun, verb   [ˈhɒlədeɪ]    [ˈhɒlədi]    [ˈhɑːlədeɪ] 


1. uncountable (also holidays plural) (both BrE) (NAmE vac·ation) 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. countable (BrE) (NAmE vac·ation) 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.

see also  busman's holiday, package tour

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

4. holidays plural (NAmE) the time in December and early January that includes Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year
Happy Holidays!  
Word Origin:
Old English hāligdæg ‘holy day’.  
holidays and vacations
Holiday 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 St Valentine's Day or Groundhog 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 holidays 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. 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 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 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) to the Caribbean or Alaska have also become very popular. 
holiday noun
1. U
She's on holiday this week.
leavebreaktime offday off|BrE holidays|AmE vacation
during the holidays/break/vacation
be on holiday/leave/vacation
(the) summer/Christmas holiday/vacation
2. C (BrE)
The neighbours are away on holiday.
break|AmE vacation|informal getaway
a great/relaxing holiday/break/vacation/getaway
go/be on holiday/vacation
a week's/three-day, etc. holiday/break/vacation 
holiday / vacation
You use holiday (or holidays) in BrE and vacation in NAmE 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 NAmE 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 BrE.
The holidays is used in NAmE to refer to the time in late December and early January that includes Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year.
Vacation in BrE is used mainly to mean one of the periods when universities are officially closed for the students. 
Travel and tourism
have/take (BrE) a holiday/(NAmE) a vacation/a break/a day off/(BrE) 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 BrE) booking
rent a villa/(both BrE) a holiday home/a holiday cottage
(especially BrE) hire/ (especially NAmE) rent a car/bicycle/moped
stay in a hotel/a bed and breakfast/a youth hostel/a villa/(both BrE) a holiday home/a caravan
cost/charge $100 a/per night for a single/double/twin/standard/(BrE) 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/vacation
Foreign 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/(NAmE also) layover in Hong Kong
experience/cause/lead to delays
check (in)/collect/get/lose (your) (especially BrE) luggage/(especially NAmE) 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 sickness
The tourist industry
attract/draw/bring tourists/visitors
encourage/promote/hurt tourism
promote/develop ecotourism
build/develop/visit a tourist/holiday/(especially BrE) seaside/beach/ski resort
work for/be operated by a major hotel chain
be served by/compete with low-cost/(especially NAmE) low-fare/budget airlines
book sth 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 
Example Bank:
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.

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

holiday / ˈhɒl.ɪ.deɪ /   / ˈhɑː.lɪ- / noun

A1 [ C or U ] UK ( UK informal holidays , UK informal hols , US vacation ) a time, often one or two weeks, when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax:

a camping/skiing holiday

Have you decided where you're going for your holiday(s) this year?

Patricia is on holiday next week.

How many days' holiday do you get with your new job?

We thought we'd go to France for our summer holiday.

Surely the school holidays start soon.

B1 [ C ] an official day when you do not have to go to work or school:

a public holiday

St Patrick's Day is a holiday in Ireland.

Word partners for holiday

book / go on / have / take a holiday • a summer holiday • a lovely / wonderful holiday • be on holiday

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 holidays, holidaying, holidayed

 1) N-COUNT: also on/from N A holiday is a period of time during which you relax and enjoy yourself away from home. People sometimes refer to their holiday as their holidays. [BRIT]
  I've just come back from a holiday in the United States...
  We rang Duncan to ask where he was going on holiday...
  Ischia is a popular seaside holiday resort...
  We're going to Scotland for our holidays.(in AM, use vacation)
 2) N-COUNT: usu with supp A holiday is a day when people do not go to work or school because of a religious or national festival.
 → See also bank holiday
  New Year's Day is a public holiday throughout Britain...
  He invited her to spend the Fourth of July holiday at his summer home on Fire Island...
  Bad weather has caused dozens of flight cancellations over the holiday weekend.
 3) N-PLURAL: usu the N, oft n N The holidays are the time when children do not have to go to school. [BRIT]
  ...the first day of the school holidays.(in AM, use vacation)
 4) N-UNCOUNT If you have a particular number of days' or weeks' holiday, you do not have to go to work for that number of days or weeks. [BRIT]
  Every worker will be entitled to four weeks' paid holiday a year.(in AM, use vacation)
 5) VERB: oft cont If you are holidaying in a place away from home, you are on holiday there. [BRIT]
  [V prep/adv] Sampling the local cuisine is one of the delights of holidaying abroad...
  [V-ing] Vacant rooms on the campus were being used by holidaying families.(in AM, use vacation)

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 

1hol·i·day /ˈhɑːləˌdeɪ, Brit ˈh{scriptainv}lədi/ noun, pl -days
1 [count] : a special day of celebration
• a religious holiday : a day when most people do not have to work
• July 4 is a national holiday in the U.S.
• The stock market is closed tomorrow because it's a holiday.
- often used before another noun
holiday gifts/parties
• Do you have any plans for the holiday weekend? [=a weekend that is preceded or followed by a holiday]
✦In U.S. English, the holiday season and the holidays refer to the time from November until the beginning of January during which many holidays are celebrated.
• How are you celebrating the holiday season?
• I'm looking forward to going home for the holidays.
- see also bank holiday, legal holiday
2 Brit : vacation


• She'll have four weeks' holiday next year.
• She spent two weeks on holiday [=(US) on vacation] in Italy.


• We're planning on taking a holiday in the Caribbean.
- often plural
• She went to the Caribbean for her holidays.
• He spent the summer holidays in Spain.


  1. What's a typical holiday for you?
  2. Which holidays do you celebrate? How? What are some of the customs and traditions?
  3. What are your favorite holidays? Why? What do you usually do during these holidays?
  4. What kind of holidays do you like? Sightseeing, cultural, relaxing,…?
  5. What did you do on your last holiday?
  6. What do you like doing on a long holiday?
  7. Describe your dream holiday?


  1. Do you like traveling? What are the good things and bad things about traveling?
  2. Have you ever been abroad? Which countries have you visited? Which one did you like most? Why?
  3. Where did you travel last? Why did you choose it?
  4. Do you prefer to travel to the same place or visit new places?
  5. Is it better to travel or to arrive?
  6. Do you prefer traveling with your friends, family or alone?
  7. What are the five things that you always take with you on all trips?
  8. What is your favorite country to visit?


  1. What's your typical weekend like?
  2. How would you describe an ideal weekend?
  3. Do you have two days for weekend or one day and a half? Is that enough? Don't you think that three days would be much better?
  4. Why do we need weekends?
  5. Do you prefer relaxing weekends doing nothing or active ones?
  6. What are your plans for this weekend? What did you do last weekend?
  7. Is there anything you don't like about weekends and you wish you could change it?
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