Definition of month in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /mənTH/


(also calendar month)
1Each of the twelve named periods into which a year is divided: the first six months of 1992 it was the end of the month
More example sentences
  • I changed the calendar month to July as I walked past the bulletin board.
  • The second full Moon in a calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon.
  • A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month.
1.1A period of time between the same dates in successive calendar months: the president’s rule was extended for six more months from March 3
More example sentences
  • Adeline Nakamura had met Bernard almost a year ago and they had been dating for a month.
  • This information must be sent to the address above within three months of the date of this letter.
  • If he is given the go ahead, it could be months before a date is set for the hearing.
1.2A period of 28 days or four weeks: the fourth month of pregnancy
More example sentences
  • The operations are usually carried out three to four months into the pregnancies.


a month of Sundays

informal A very long, seemingly endless period of time: no one will find them in a month of Sundays
More example sentences
  • A council spokesman said: ‘You would never find this piece of land in a month of Sundays, so the parking must be being advertised somewhere, otherwise drivers would not know about it.’
  • If you had asked me at the top of Kilimanjaro whether I would want to do something like this again I would have said not in a month of Sundays.
  • It would take you a month of Sundays if you literally poke around with your trekking pole before you put a foot down, so you just trust that it's in the right place.


Old English mōnath, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maand and German Monat, also to moon.

  • A month corresponds to the period of time of the moon's revolution, and the words month and moon are related. Their ancient ancestor is also the source of Greek mēn ‘month’, from which English took menstruate (Late Middle English), menopause (late 19th century), and similar words. Shops and entertainments now open on Sundays, but in the past this was not necessarily so. Where Christianity was the dominant religion, restrictions on pleasure and activity meant that Sundays were quiet, private days. This may be behind the expression a month of Sundays, ‘a very long, seemingly endless period of time’. The expression is known from 1836 in The Clockmaker by Thomas Chandler Haliburton: ‘Mr. Slick…told him all the little girls there would fall in love with him, for they didn't see such a beautiful face once in a month of Sundays.’

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: month

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.