Definitions

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

  • n. See Pentecost.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The Sunday of the feast of Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter, when traditionally many Christians would be baptised, wearing white clothes
  • n. A quarter day, falling on 15th May

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The seventh Sunday, and the fiftieth day, after Easter; a festival of the church in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; Pentecost; -- so called, it is said, because, in the primitive church, those who had been newly baptized appeared at church between Easter and Pentecost in white garments.
  • n. See the Note under Term, n., 12.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The seventh Sunday after Easter; a festival of the church in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
  • n. In Scotland, one of the term-days (May 15th or, from the Old Style, May 26th) on which rents, annuities, ministers' stipends, etc., are paid, servants are engaged and paid, etc. The Whitsunday removal term in the towns is now fixed by law as May 28th.

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

Etymologies

Middle English whitsonday, from Old English hwīta sunnandæg, White Sunday (from the white ceremonial robes worn on this day) : hwīt, white; see white + sunnandæg, Sunday; see Sunday.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Contraction of white Sunday (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the second, on the same feast, he calls Whitsunday the accomplishment of all the mysteries of our faith; and teaches that the Holy Ghost delayed his descent, that he might not come upon the apostles in vain, or without having been long and earnestly desired; and that he manifested his descent by the emblem of tongues of fire, to represent that he consumes like fire the thorns of our souls, and that his principal gift is charity.

    The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints January, February, March

  • Pentecost Sunday, also known as Whitsunday, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity.

    A Cake for Pentecost

  • [626: 1] Pentecost, called Whitsunday or White-Sunday, on account of the white garments worn by those who then received baptism, was observed as early as the beginning of the third century.

    The Ancient Church Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution

  • "We've had a couple of loose sheets of iron on roofs and reports of a few windows on pubs that went out," said Mike Brunker, mayor of Whitsunday, which is just south of Bowen.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Since another name for Pentecost is "Whitsunday," there is a tradition to serve white foods.

    Menu ideas for Pentecost Sunday

  • Pentecost or "Whitsunday" in the Anglican tradition, because it was a day for Baptism when people dressed in white is a top-level feast when it comes to hymnody in particular and chant in general.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • In ecclesiastical English, the feast of Pentecost still retains the alternative Anglo-Saxon title "Whitsunday," from the white robes of baptismal "candidates" (literally, in Latin, "those dressed in white").

    The Continuum

  • "Whitsunday" is believed to have come from "white Sunday," when, among the English, white robes were worn by those baptized on the day.

    infoplease - Daily Almanac

  • Hideaway Bay, in the Whitsunday Islands, received 627mm of rain from Tuesday to Thursday.

    Weatherwatch: La Niña brings more flooding

  • Located on one of the Whitsunday Islands, near the Great Barrier Reef off the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia, the Paradise Bay Eco Escape hosts up to 20 people at a time in its ten luxuriously outfitted bungalows.

    Olivia Katrandjian: In the Aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, Queensland, Australia Chooses to Rebuild Green

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