Definition of Samhain in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /saʊn/
Pronunciation: /ˈsaʊɪn/
Pronunciation: /ˈsawɪn/
Pronunciation: /ˈsəʊnʲ/


The first day of November, celebrated by the ancient Celts as a festival marking the beginning of winter.
Example sentences
  • The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain was celebrated in style last week in West Kerry when the Díseart Institute of Education and Celtic Culture held a special event to mark what was once the traditional welcoming of the New Year.
  • The origins of Halloween date back over 2,000 years to the ancient indigenous Celtic festival of Samhain, the beginning of the Celtic New Year on November 1.
  • Hallowe'en originates from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain, which marks the end of summer and harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter associated with death and the return of spirits to Earth.


Irish, from Old Irish samain.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Sam|hain

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.