Definitions

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

  • n. The seventh day of the week, Saturday, observed as the day of rest and worship by the Jews and some Christian sects.
  • n. The first day of the week, Sunday, observed as the day of rest and worship by most Christians.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The Biblical seventh day of the week, observed as a day of rest in Judaism, Seventh-day Adventism, or Seventh Day Baptism, starting at sundown on Friday till sundown on Saturday.
  • proper n. Sunday, observed throughout the majority of Christianity as a day of rest.
  • proper n. Friday, observed in Islam as a day of rest.
  • proper n. A meeting of witches at midnight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A season or day of rest; one day in seven appointed for rest or worship, the observance of which was enjoined upon the Jews in the Decalogue, and has been continued by the Christian church with a transference of the day observed from the last to the first day of the week, which is called also Lord's Day.
  • n. The seventh year, observed among the Israelites as one of rest and festival.
  • n. Fig.: A time of rest or repose; intermission of pain, effort, sorrow, or the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the Jewish calendar, the seventh day of the week, now known as Saturday, observed as a day of rest from secular employment, and of religious observance.
  • n. The first day of the week, similarly observed by most Christian denominations: more properly designated Sunday, or the Lord's Day.
  • n. [lowercase] A time of rest or quiet; respite from toil, trouble, pain, sorrow, etc.
  • n. [lowercase] The sabbatical year among the Israelites.
  • n. A midnight meeting supposed in the middle ages to have been held annually by demons, sorcerers, and witches, under the leadership of Satan, for the purpose of celebrating their orgies. More fully called Witches' Sabbath. Also, archaically, Sabbat.
  • Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Sabbath (or, by common but less proper use, Sunday): as, Sabbath duties; Sabbath observance; Sabbath stillness.

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

  • n. a day of rest and worship: Sunday for most Christians; Saturday for the Jews and a few Christians; Friday for Muslims

Etymologies

Middle English sabat, from Old French sabbat and Old English sabat, both from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew šabbāt, from šābat, to cease, rest; see šbt in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek σάββατον (sábbaton, "Sabbath"), from Hebrew שבת (shabát, "Sabbath"). (Wiktionary)

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