Definitions

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

  • n. The seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. Also called Whitsunday.
  • n. Judaism See Shavuot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The particular (Jewish) Pentecost 49 days (inclusive) after the resurrection of Jesus on the (Jewish) Day of First Fruits, when (in Christian teaching) the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with miraculous effects including the ability to explain the Gospel intelligibly in languages they did not know; or a similar occasion since.
  • proper n. Christian festival (also known as Whitsun or Whitsunday), which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (see above definition).
  • proper n. Pentecostal manifestation, such as in a church service.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A solemn festival of the Jews; -- so called because celebrated on the fiftieth day (seven weeks) after the second day of the Passover (which fell on the sixteenth of the Jewish month Nisan); -- hence called, also, the Feast of Weeks. At this festival an offering of the first fruits of the harvest was made. By the Jews it was generally regarded as commemorative of the gift of the law on the fiftieth day after the departure from Egypt.
  • n. A festival of the Roman Catholic and other churches in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles; which occurred on the day of Pentecost; -- called also Whitsunday.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the New Testament, a Jewish harvest festival called in the Old Testament (Deut. xvi. 10, etc.) the feast of weeks (Hebrew Shabuoth), and observed on the fiftieth day after the 14th of Nisan, the date of the celebration of the Passover.
  • n. The feast of Whitsunday, a festival of the Christian church, observed annually in remembrance of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles during the feast of Pentecost.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. seventh Sunday after Easter; commemorates the emanation of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles; a quarter day in Scotland
  • n. (Judaism) Jewish holy day celebrated on the sixth of Sivan to celebrate Moses receiving the Ten Commandments

Etymologies

Middle English pentecoste, from Old English Pentecosten, from Late Latin Pentēcostē, from Greek pentēkostē (hēmerā), fiftieth (day), feminine of pentēkostos, fiftieth, from pentēkonta, fifty.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek πεντηκοστή (pentēkostē, "fiftieth"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • … The term Pentecost was first used by Christians to refer to this seven-week period as a unit: "the Pentecost," or the fifty days.

    internetmonk.com

  • Now when that festival which we call Pentecost was at hand, all the places about the temple, and the whole city, was full of a multitude of people that were come out of the country, and which were the greatest part of them armed also, at which time Phasaelus guarded the wall, and

    The Wars of the Jews; or the history of the destruction of Jerusalem

  • And truly he did not speak falsely in saying so; for that festival, which we call Pentecost, did then fall out to be the next day to the

    Antiquities of the Jews

  • Tertullian refers to the period, which he called the Pentecost, as a laetissimum spatium, a "most joyous space" in which it is especially fitting that baptisms take place.

    internetmonk.com

  • In the Old Testament the feast of Pentecost (from the Greek word for “fiftieth”) was one of the three great pilgrimage festivals of Israel, a celebration of the spring harvest that took place fifty days after the offering of first fruits at Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

    Pentecost Sunday: The Church made manifest

  • However, it is with regard to the modern Roman liturgy that we see a matter of probably wider liturgical interest; namely, the suppression of the ancient octave of Pentecost from the modern Roman calendar -- an octave being the extended liturgical celebration of a particular feast for a period of eight days.

    Two Reforms Associated with Pentecost: The Vigil and the Octave

  • Just a reminder that Pentecost is nine days away, so the "original" novena (nine days of prayer) starts today.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Dave Pentecost is one of a number of volunteer filmmakers who worked with Michael Moore to document election day conditions at polling sites throughout Ohio.

    Boing Boing

  • It has certainly continued to manifest itself ever since, and has been attributed by professed historians to that particular moment in time called Pentecost, producing much popular excitement and a large number of Christian believers.

    Thoughts on Religion

  • And yes it is the same as the Jewish event called the Pentecost, meaning the fiftieth day after Passover when all the Jews have a feast where they let their hair down and get kind'a paganistically wild.

    The Pentecost

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