Definition of day in English:


Syllabification: day


1A period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, reckoned from one midnight to the next, corresponding to a rotation of the earth on its axis.
More example sentences
  • There ought to be twenty-nine days in every month, not just leap year Februaries.
  • The years, months, days, hours drift by, and you can hear it getting louder.
  • She had been back for a total of two months and five days and already she was a target.
a twenty-four-hour period, twenty-four hours
1.1The part of a day when it is light; the time between sunrise and sunset: she sleeps all day and goes out at night the animals hunt by day
More example sentences
  • By day we chase the enemy back four trenches; by night they send us down to the sea.
  • By day I was glued to my walkman, walking round in a daze listening to the show.
  • By day, it's a video gallery, with tall white walls, a huge dome and a giant blue ball.
1.2The part of a day spent working: he works an eight-hour day
More example sentences
  • After a hard day at the office they couldn't possibly be expected to cook for themselves, could they?
  • Working eight-hour days, it has been hard for the cast to stay focused and nerves do occasionally fray.
  • A night out was just the tonic I needed after three whole days of hard work.
1.3 Astronomy A single rotation of a planet in relation to its primary.
More example sentences
  • Why do we not get a total eclipse once every 28 days i.e. once every lunar orbit?
1.4 Astronomy The period on a planet when its primary star is above the horizon.
1.5 archaic Daylight: by the time they had all gone it was broad day
More example sentences
  • Hayes breathed out in reverence as he watched the day spreading across the planet.
2 (usually days) A particular period of the past; an era: the laws were very strict in those days
More example sentences
  • People dressed up in period costume to re-enact days gone by.
  • Horses should not be just something from days gone by, but part of the future.
  • There are the usual family shots, newspaper clippings, and other photos of days gone by.
2.1 (the day) The present time: the political issues of the day
More example sentences
  • The festival provides an opportunity for people to connect with important science of the day.
  • They feature a wide diversity of opinion concerning the war and other social and political issues of the day.
  • These are large meetings convened by the Council to focus on some strategic concerns of the day.
2.2 [with adjective] A day associated with a particular event or purpose: graduation day Christmas Day
More example sentences
  • It's important to remember the events of that terrible day, otherwise we run the risk of forgetting.
  • It also vindicated her version of events on that tragic day in the Outback.
  • He recounts the events of that day as though he were still a policeman dictating a confession.
2.3A day’s endeavor, or the period of an endeavor, especially as bringing success: speed and surprise would win the day
More example sentences
  • Overall, it was an stunning day of successes and a memorable way to bring the season to a close.
  • A special word of thanks is sent to all our volunteers who made this day a major success.
  • They were not to know that Friday would bring another day of dramatic action.
2.4 [usually with modifier] (days) A particular period in a person’s life or career: my student days
More example sentences
  • The supposed twilight days of his career provided him with countless afternoons in the sun.
  • It was really fun hearing about his acting days at grammar school, and hearing about teachers.
  • Staging of dramas during his school and college days helped him in facing the camera.
2.5 (one's day) The successful, fortunate, or influential period of a person’s life or career: he had been a matinée idol in his day
More example sentences
  • Although he has since been mostly forgotten, South was a very prominent astronomer in his day.
  • I’ve done a lot of different workouts in my day.
peak, height, zenith, ascendancy;
youth, springtime, salad days
2.6 (one's days) The span of someone’s life: she cared for him for the rest of his days
More example sentences
  • So she is living with us now and we will keep her for the rest of her days.
  • We had a meal I'll remember until the end of my days.


Old English dæg, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dag and German Tag.


all in a (or the) day's work

(Of something unusual or difficult) accepted as part of someone’s normal routine or as a matter of course: dodging sharks is all in a day’s work for these scientists
More example sentences
  • Helping a neighbour with their shopping, taking the dog for a walk or doing a spot of gardening is all in a day's work for these loyal volunteers.
  • For this professional photographer, being surrounded by beautiful babes in expensive frocks is all in a day's work.
  • For him and his business partner, environmental disasters are all in a day's work.

any day

informal At any time or under any circumstances (used to express a strong opinion or preference): I’d rather live in a shack in the woods than a penthouse in the city, any day you can take me dancing any day of the week
More example sentences
  • Me, I'd prefer to walk the streets of New York - any day of the week.
  • Give me a decent book over the TV any day of the week.
  • I would still take the heat and humidity over the cold any day of the week.
Very soon: she’s expected to give birth any day
More example sentences
  • Expect to see inquiries in Denmark, Poland and Spain any day soon.
  • The ticket for Bob should be arriving any day soon.
  • In fact, I think they will agree that any day will be too soon.

at the end of the day

see end.

by the day

Gradually and steadily: the campaign is growing by the day
More example sentences
  • The parliament is gradually getting its act together and is growing in confidence by the day.
  • She's in seventh grade now, growing taller by the day and living life in the moment.
  • There's not enough firewood and Uncle Boris grows weaker by the day.

call it a day

End a period of activity, especially resting content that enough has been done: we were prepared to do another long march before calling it a day
More example sentences
  • It's not a fun job, scanning negatives, and I decided to call it a day when I'd finished the first film.
  • We were late arrivals and calling it a day, we decided just after midnight to put our heads down for the night.
  • The group called it a day after Charlie Simpson decided to leave.

day after day

On each successive day, especially over a long period: the rain poured down day after day
More example sentences
  • In the first three or four years, ballet means repeating several basic skills day after day.
  • This continued day after day, till late at night when Kano was at the point of exhaustion.
  • It's getting worse day after day, and no one has been able to put an end to it.

day and night

All the time: they kept working, day and night
More example sentences
  • Robin laughs non-stop day and night, pausing only for meals and medication breaks.
  • Like the miners, I was busy day and night, trying to get a church erected and furnished.
  • Organisers had a word of praise for the artists engaged day and night in the preparation of the idols.

day by day

Gradually and steadily: day by day I grew worse
More example sentences
  • The pressure for a full public inquiry is now growing day by day.
  • It had slowly dwindled day by day as the news of his accident became old hat.
  • When I was born I was very small, but I grew day by day and became a plump, chubby child.

day in, day out

Continuously or repeatedly over a long period of time.
More example sentences
  • Whatever way you look at it, the sad fact remains that carnage continues on our roads day in, day out.
  • For 42 million people it's there day in, day out - a constant reminder of mortality.
  • Have the police been there steadily, day in, day out?

day of reckoning

The time when past mistakes or misdeeds must be punished or paid for; a testing time when the degree of one’s success or failure will be revealed.
[with allusion to Judgment Day, on which (in some beliefs) the judgment of humankind is expected to take place]
More example sentences
  • Sunday was a day of reckoning, when the harshness of this past winter's riding made itself known.
  • The worry is whether, given the huge imbalances in their economy, they may be postponing the day of reckoning.
  • The statute of limitations on war crimes does not run out, and the day of reckoning will come.
judgment day, day of retribution, doomsday, D-Day

from day one

From the very beginning: children need a firm hand from day one
More example sentences
  • He'd had Finnegan in his class since the very beginning, and from day one, he knew she was going to be a tough one.
  • The film's makers were on the defensive from day one.
  • That is the quandary we have been in from day one.

have had one's (or its) day

Be no longer popular, successful, or influential: power dressing has had its day
More example sentences
  • I think the fact that it's mostly men making the mistake shows that those old stereotypes have had their day.
  • No, Hannibal, Face, Murdoch and BA have had their day, glorious as it was, and we should remember them as they were.
  • One lesson she had learned from Cannes was that big action movies and special effects seemed to have had their day.

if someone is a day

At least (added to a statement about a person’s age): he must be seventy if he’s a day
More example sentences
  • She is 80 if she is a day, but what she lacks in manoeuvrability she makes up for in enthusiasm.
  • Isabella is 70 if she is a day, stands about 4 foot 5 and is almost as broad as she is tall.
  • He is fifty years old if he is a day; his hair is all gone in front, and he has the complexion of a lobster.

in this day and age

At the present time; in the modern era: it simplifies housekeeping, which is essential in this day and age
More example sentences
  • It's ridiculous that in this day and age, the manure is allowed to drop onto the roadway and remain there.
  • But in this day and age, the very idea of any woman having to wait to be asked is intriguing to say the least.
  • Imagine, in this day and age, not being able to turn your pack of biscuits around and find out what's in them.

not someone's day

Used to convey that someone has had a bad day.
More example sentences
  • The A's were the better team and should have won but it was not their day.
  • Balla gave it their all but it was just not their day.
  • With a yellow card against him already for upending an opponent in the first period this was certainly not his day.

—— of the day

A thing currently considered to be particularly interesting or important: the big news story of the day
More example sentences
  • Mainly they attempt to tell some sort of parable on one of the news stories of the day.
  • One option was for me to put up a short, placeholder post on every major topic of the day.
  • It was the question of the day on several cable networks and the subject of the day for talk and news shows around the world.

one day

At a particular but unspecified time in the past: one day a boy started teasing Grady
More example sentences
  • Because one of these days, the Democrats are going to be in the majority.
  • I mentioned earlier you might wind up on the U.S. Supreme Court one of these days.
  • And Jane, I really do hope you plan to do a story on female scientists one of these days.
(also one of these days) At a particular but unspecified time in the future: he would one day be a great president

one of those days

A day when several things go wrong.
More example sentences
  • I am having one of those days today and here you can see the results.
  • Ever have one of those days where you're really glad that it's over and it's Friday?
  • It's been one of those days - rubbish weather and a lousy ride into work.

that will (or that'll) be the day

informal That will never happen.
More example sentences
  • Hope you're all behaving. (Yeah that'll be the day!!)
  • How about something more original, like spending limits based on inflation and population growth? Yeah, that'll be the day.

these days

At present: he is drinking far too much these days
More example sentences
  • His legs may be a bit weary these days, but his presence is everything to his young charges.
  • This just sums up everything about the state of the royal family these days, I think.
  • Just because we have a few women in power it does not mean women have it made these days.

those were the days

Used to assert that a particular past time was better than the present.
More example sentences
  • And those were the days when you could still get generous grants for poor families.
  • Oh, those were the days… We'll always have the memories.
  • Ah, those were the days… when a young, nubile female could hitchhike safely in this country…

to the day

Exactly: it’s four years to the day since we won the lottery
More example sentences
  • It is four weeks to the day since Amanda disappeared and Surrey Police have still uncovered no major leads.
  • A couple have married four years to the day after meeting in an Internet chat room.
  • Forty years later, almost to the day, the BBC has effectively axed the programme.

to this day

Up to the present time; still: the tradition continues to this day
More example sentences
  • But the troubles in Northern Ireland added renewed impetus which continues to this day.
  • The war might have ended last May, but hostilities continue to this day.
  • Trusty aides always claimed ignorance, and, as far as I'm aware, continue to do so to this day.

Definition of day in:

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
turned backward