1 a period of 365 or 366 days from 1 January to 31 December. A year has twelve months and 52 weeks:
Where are you going on holiday this year?
'What year were you born?' '1973.'
I left school last year.
2 any period of twelve months:
I've known Chris for three years.
My son is five years old.
I have a five-year-old son.
I've got a two-year-old.
Be careful! You can say She's ten or She's ten years old (BUT NOT 'She's ten years').
3 (British) the level that a student is at in school or university:
I'm in year nine.
They're third-year students.
all year round for the whole year:
The swimming pool is open all year round.
Look also at leap year and new year.
year S1 W1 /jɪə, jɜː $ jɪr/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Word Family: noun: ↑year; adverb: ↑yearly; adjective: ↑yearly]
[Language: Old English; Origin: gear]
1. 12 MONTHS a period of about 365 days or 12 months, measured from any particular time:
I arrived here two years ago.
We’ve known each other for over a year.
It’s almost a year since Sue died.
Jodi is 15 years old.
a three-year business plan
a four-year-old child
be 12/21 etc years of age (=be 12/21 etc years old) ⇨ ↑financial year, ↑fiscal year, ↑light year, ↑tax year
2. JANUARY TO DECEMBER (also calendar year) a period of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning on January 1st and ending on December 31st:
the year that Kennedy died
in the year 1785
They moved here at the beginning of this year.
last year’s cup final
She goes there every year.
The museum attracts 100,000 visitors a year.
in the early years of last century ⇨ ↑leap year, ↑New Year
a) informal a very long period of time SYN ages:
It’s years since I rode a bike.
I haven’t been there for years.
It was the first time in years I’d seen her.
b) age, especially old age
a man/woman/person etc of his/her etc years
Gordon is very active for a man of his years.
getting on in years (=no longer young)
4. all (the) year round during the whole year:
It’s warm enough to swim all year round. ⇨ ↑year-round
5. year by year as each year passes:
Business has steadily increased year by year.
6. year after year/year in, year out every year for many years:
Many birds return to the same spot year after year.
7. PERIOD OF LIFE/HISTORY years [plural] a particular period of time in someone’s life or in history:
the difficult years following the war
Sheila enjoyed her years as a student in Oxford.
8. the school/academic year the time within a period of 12 months when students are studying at a school or university
9. SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY LEVEL especially British English a particular level that a student stays at for one year:
a group of year seven students
in a year
He was in my year at school.
10. first/second etc year British English someone who is in their first etc year at school or university:
The department offers a study skills programme for all first years.
11. musician/player/car etc of the year the musician etc who was voted the best in a particular year
vote/name something ... of the year
The new Renault was voted car of the year.
12. year on year compared with the previous year:
Sales rose by 39 per cent year on year.
13. never/not in a million years spoken used to say that something is extremely unlikely:
Never in a million years did I think we’d lose.
14. the year dot British English informal a very long time ago:
Scientists have been involved in war since the year dot.
15. put years on somebody/take years off somebody to make someone look or feel older or younger:
Tina’s divorce has put years on her.
⇨ donkey’s years at ↑donkey(2)
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ this year She will be eight this year.
▪ next year I might go to law school next year.
▪ last year Last year we spent a lot on the house.
▪ every year They go back to the same resort every year.
▪ the current year The budget for the current year was £13 million.
▪ the coming year (=the year that is about to start) Here are some events to look out for in the coming year.
▪ the past year Over the past year everyone has worked extremely hard.
▪ the previous year They had married the previous year.
▪ the following year The following year he was made captain of the team.
▪ the new year (=used to talk about the beginning of the next year) The report is due at the beginning of the new year.
▪ the beginning/start of the year They moved here at the beginning of last year.
▪ the end of the year Work should finish around the end of the year.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 7)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + years
▪ early years Little is known about his early years. | He remembers the early years of television.
▪ the last/latter/closing years of something He changed his opinion during the last years of his life.
▪ somebody's childhood/teenage years the home in which she spent her childhood years
▪ the war years She worked for the BBC during the war years.
▪ the boom years (=when an economy or industry is very successful) In the boom years, things weren't too bad.
▪ somebody's retirement years He enjoyed his retirement years in Wales.
▪ the Bush/Blair etc years (=when Bush, Blair etc was leader) The rich did very nicely during the Thatcher years.
▪ in recent years The number of cases has risen dramatically in recent years.
▪ in later years In later years he regretted their argument.
▪ in years gone by (=in the past) The old fort defended the island in years gone by.
■ COMMON ERRORS
► Do not say 'in ancient years' or 'in the ancient years'. Say in ancient times or long ago.
year [year years] [jɪə(r)] [jɜː(r)] [jɪr] noun (abbr. yr)
1. (also ˌcalendar ˈyear) countable the period from 1 January to 31 December, that is 365 or 366 days, divided into 12 months
• in the year 1865
• I lost my job earlier this year.
• Elections take place every year.
• The museum is open all (the) year round (= during the whole year).
see also leap year, new year
2. countable a period of 12 months, measured from any particular time
• It's exactly a year since I started working here.
• She gave up teaching three years ago.
• in the first year of their marriage
• the pre-war/war/post-war years (= the period before/during/after the war)
• I have happy memories of my years in Poland (= the time I spent there).
see also gap year, light year, off year
3. countable a period of 12 months connected with a particular activity
• the academic/school year
• the tax year
see also financial year
4. countable (especially BrE) (at a school, etc.) a level that you stay in for one year; a student at a particular level
• We started German in year seven.
• a year-seven pupil
• The first years do French.
• She was in my year at school.
5. countable, usually plural age; time of life
• He was 14 years old when it happened.
• She looks young for her years.
• They were both only 20 years of age.
• a twenty-year-old man
• He died in his sixtieth year.
• She's getting on in years (= is no longer young).
6. years plural (informal) a long time
• It's years since we last met.
• They haven't seen each other for years.
• That's the best movie I've seen in years.
• We've had a lot of fun over the years.
more at of advanced years at advanced, sb's declining years at decline v., donkey's years at donkey, the seven year itch at seven, the turn of the century/year at turn n.
Idioms: man/woman/car of the year ▪ not in a hundred years ▪ put years on somebody ▪ take years off somebody ▪ year after year ▪ year by year ▪ year dot ▪ year in, year out ▪ year of grace ▪ year of our Lord ▪ year on year
See also: calendar year ▪ year one
Old English gē(a)r, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jaar and German Jahr, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hōra ‘season’.
Britain and the US follow the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Roman Julian calendar in 1752. The year is divided into 12 months, with 30 or 31 days in each month, except February, which has 28 days. An extra day is added to February every fourth year, called a leap year, to keep the calendar in time with the moon. A well-known verse helps people remember how many days there are in each month: Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting February alone, Which hath twenty-eight days clear, and twenty-nine in each leap year.
The calendar year starts on 1 January, New Year's Day. The number of each year (2003, 2004, et c. ) represents the number of years that have passed since the birth of Jesus Christ. The year 2000 marked the end of the second millennium (= a period of 1 000 years) since Christ was born. The years before Christ are described as BC (= before Christ), e.g. 55 BC, or BCE (= before the Common Era). The abbreviations AD (Latin Anno Domini, meaning ‘in the year of the Lord’) or CE (= Common Era) are put before or after the date for the years after Christ’s birth, e.g. AD 44 or 44 AD, but they are not used with years after about 200 AD. Some cultural and religious groups use different calendars: the year 2000 in the Gregorian calendar began during the year 5760 in the Jewish calendar, 1420 in the Islamic calendar and 1921 in the Hindu calendar.
The academic year used by schools and colleges in Britain runs from September to July, with short holidays at Christmas and in the spring and a long summer vacation. In the US the academic year runs from August or September to May or June. Many business companies have a financial year (= a period of accounting) that runs from April to the following March. The tax year in the US is the same as the calendar year but the tax year in Britain begins on 5 April. The reason is that in medieval times the calendar year began on 25 March, not 1 January. When the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, an adjustment was needed and 11 days were removed from September 1752. To avoid being accused of collecting a full year’s taxes in a short year, the government extended the end of the tax year 1752–3 to 4 April.
Many festivals are celebrated during the year. Christmas and Easter are the main Christian festivals. Jews remember Passover and Yom Kippur. Ramadan, a month of fasting, and Eid ul-Fitr are celebrated by Muslims. Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, takes place in October or November, and the Chinese celebrate their new year in January or February. Special occasions such as Bonfire Night in Britain and Thanksgiving in the US are enjoyed by almost everyone.
• Britain was invaded in the year 1066.
• Careful make-up and styling can take years off you.
• He soon realized that a lot had changed in the intervening years.
• He spent his sabbatical year doing research in Moscow.
• He spent last year trying to get a new job.
• He was on a gap year before going to university.
• His early years were spent in San Francisco.
• His wife's death has put years on him.
• I hope to retire in a year/in a year's time.
• I paint the house every single year.
• I visited Morocco 20-odd years ago.
• I've been waiting for this moment all year long.
• In his later years, he drifted away from politics.
• In the past few years, she has become one of our top-selling authors.
• It happened during the Clinton years.
• It took him ten years to qualify as a vet.
• It's the first time we've met in years.
• It's usually much colder at this time of year.
• Next month, they celebrate fifty years of marriage.
• Over 10 000 people per year are injured in this type of accident.
• Over the past few years, we've made significant changes.
• She died the following year.
• She was born in Spain but spent her formative years in Italy.
• She won the race for the third successive year.
• She's only ten years old.
• That was in the year of the great flood.
• That year saw the explosion of the Internet.
• The academic year runs from October to June.
• The book represents three years of hard work.
• The chart shows our performance over the past year.
• The children spent the war years abroad.
• The city tour runs all the year round.
• The death rate in any given year.
• The event has not proved popular in past years.
• The global economy means that all types of fruit and vegetables are available throughout the year.
• The last year went by in flash.
• The new range puts us light years ahead of the competition.
• The reforms will be fully implemented by the year 2007.
• The team has suffered a loss of form since the turn of the year.
• They had met once the previous year.
• They're still friends after all these years.
• This year marks the 10th anniversary of her death.
• We aim to do even better in future years.
• We have high hopes for the coming year.
• We lived there for ten years.
• We worked for five long years on this project.
• We're going skiing early in the new year.
• We've been friends for over twenty years.
• a peak year for exports
• children of tender years
• during the next academic year
• final-year university students
• in the next tax year
• profit for the current year to 31 December
• the boom years from 1993 to 2000
• the early years of the 21st century
• the golden years of motoring
• First and second years usually live in college.
• The language students go abroad in their third year.
• The project is the work of a group of year-seven pupils.
• We didn't start Latin until year nine.
• Year seven is the first year of secondary school.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
year / jɪə r / / jɪr / noun
A1 [ C ] a period of twelve months, especially from 1 January to 31 December :
Annette worked in Italy for two years.
1988 was one of the worst years of my life.
We went to Egypt on holiday last year.
At this time of year the beaches are almost deserted.
This species keeps its leaves all (the) year ( round ) (= through the year) .
[ C ] a period of twelve months relating to a particular activity:
The financial/tax year begins in April.
A2 [ C ] the part of the year, in a school or university, during which courses are taught:
the academic/school year
She's now in her final/first/second year at Manchester University.
[ C , + sing/pl verb ] UK a group of students who start school, college, university, or a course together:
Kathy was in the year above me at college.
Word partners for year
each / every / last / next year • the past year • [3/20] years old • [2/5] years ago
© Cambridge University Press 2013
1) N-COUNT A year is a period of twelve months or 365 or 366 days, beginning on the first of January and ending on the thirty-first of December.
The year was 1840...
We had an election last year.
...the number of people on the planet by the year 2050.
2) N-COUNT A year is any period of twelve months.
The museums attract more than two and a half million visitors a year...
She's done quite a bit of work this past year...
The school has been empty for ten years.
3) N-COUNT: num N adj/prep Year is used to refer to the age of a person. For example, if someone or something is twenty years old or twenty years of age, they have lived or existed for twenty years.
He's 58 years old...
I've been in trouble since I was eleven years of age...
This column is ten years old today.
4) N-COUNT: usu adj/ord N A school year or academic year is the period of time in each twelve months when schools or universities are open and students are studying there. In Britain and the United States, the school year starts in September.
...the 1990/91 academic year...
The twins didn't have to repeat their second year at school.
5) N-COUNT: ord N You can refer to someone who is, for example, in their first year at school or university as a first year. [BRIT]
The first years and second years got a choice of French, German and Spanish.
6) N-COUNT: with supp A financial or business year is an exact period of twelve months which businesses or institutions use as a basis for organizing their finances.
He announced big tax increases for the next two financial years...
The company admits it will make a loss for the year ending September.
7) N-PLURAL (emphasis) You can use years to emphasize that you are referring to a long time.
I haven't laughed so much in years...
It took him years to get up the courage...
People hold onto letters for years and years.
8) N-PLURAL: poss N, usu N prep You can refer to the time you spend in a place or doing an activity as your years there or your years of doing that activity.
The joy turned to tragedy during his years in Cyprus.
...his years as Director of the Manchester City Art Gallery.
9) → See also calendar year, fiscal year
10) PHRASE: PHR after v If something happens year after year, it happens regularly every year.
Regulars return year after year...
You keep on amazing me, year after year, the same old ways.
11) PHRASE: PHR after v If something changes year by year, it changes gradually each year.
This problem has increased year by year...
The department has been shrinking year by year because of budget cuts.
12) PHRASE: PHR with cl If something happens year in, year out, it happens every year without changing and is often boring.
Year in, year out, nothing changes...
With stockbroking it was the same thing, year in year out.
13) PHRASE You can say a man of his years or a woman of her years to refer to that person's age in relation to something else you are talking about.
He was moving with surprising speed for a man of his years...
A young man of his years needed to have a separate room.
14) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that something such as an experience or a way of dressing has put years on someone, you mean that it has made them look or feel much older. [INFORMAL]
I always turn adversity and defeat into victories, but it's probably put ten years on me.
15) PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR with cl If you say something happens all year round or all the year round, it happens continually throughout the year.
Town gardens are ideal because they produce flowers nearly all year round...
Drinking and driving is a problem all the year round.
16) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you say that something such as an experience or a way of dressing has taken years off someone, you mean that it has made them look or feel much younger. [INFORMAL]
Changing your hairstyle can take ten years off you.
17) donkey's years → see donkey
year /ˈjiɚ/ noun, pl years [count]
1 : a unit of time that is equal to 12 months or 365 or sometimes 366 days
• I haven't seen her in a year.
• He quit smoking six years ago.
• The job pays $45,000 a/per year.
• She renews her lease every year.
• We see them once or twice a year.
• It feels like we've been standing in line for a year.
• That team hasn't won in years.
• It's been years since I've been on an airplane.
• The camp has changed a lot over the years. [=during several/some/many years]
• The tree grows taller year by year. = The tree grows taller each year. = The tree grows taller as the years go by.
• The park is open all year round. = The park is open the entire year.
- see also calendar year, donkey's years, fiscal year, gap year, leap year
2 : the regular period of 12 months that begins in January and ends in December
• The work should be done by the end of the year.
• She was born in the year 1967.
• The volcano erupted in the year 44 B.C.
• In what year was the car made?
• They got married last year. [=during the year before this one]
• He will retire next year. [=during the year after this one]
• the movie/teacher/rookie of the year [=the best movie/teacher/rookie in a specific year]
- used to refer to the age of a person
• She is 14 years old.
• the teenage years [=the ages 13 through 19]
• a six-year-old boy
• He is getting on in years. [=he is getting old]
• She looks young/old for her years. [=she looks younger/older than she is]
4 : a period of time when a particular event, process, activity, etc., happens or is done
• The school year runs from September to June. [=the school operates from September to June]
• The fiscal year begins in October and ends in September.
• This will be a great year [=harvest season] for peaches.
• The pitcher is having his best year [=season] ever.
• She took geometry (during) her sophomore year.
• first- and second-year students
- see 1glory
in the year of our Lord formal
- used before a year to say that it is after the birth of Jesus Christ
• The couple married on this day in the year of our Lord 2005.
never/not in a thousand/million/billion years informal
- used as a strong way of saying that something is extremely unlikely or impossible
• Never in a million years did I think she would quit her job. [=I never thought that she would quit her job]
• He will never change his mind. Not in a million years.
put years on : to cause (someone) to look or feel older
• That job has really put some years on him.
since (the) year one US or Brit since the year dot informal : for a very long time : since a time in the distant past
• That monument has been there since the year one.
take years off : to cause someone to look or feel younger
• Not only has the diet improved how she feels, but it's also taken years off (her appearance).
- see 1vintage