Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter observed by Christians as a season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Period of penitence for Christians before Easter.

Etymologies

Middle English lenten, lente, spring, Lent, from Old English lencten; see del-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortened form of Lenten, from Old English lencten. Related to German Lenz ("springtime"), which is derived from a word related to long, because of the longer days. (Wiktionary)

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