Definitions

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

  • n. A Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus.
  • n. The day on which this feast is observed, the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox.
  • n. Eastertide.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Christian feast commemorating the resurrection of Christ; the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox, neither earlier than March 22 nor later than April 25.
  • n. Eastertide
  • n. The Jewish passover.
  • n. A festival held in honour of the goddess Eostre or Ostara and celebrated at the spring equinox or within the month of April. Also known as Eostre.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An annual church festival commemorating Christ's resurrection, and occurring on Sunday, the second day after Good Friday. It corresponds to the pascha or passover of the Jews, and most nations still give it this name under the various forms of pascha, pasque, pâque, or pask.
  • n. The day on which the festival is observed; Easter day.
  • intransitive v. To veer to the east; -- said of the wind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A festival observed in the Christian church, from early times, in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Of or pertaining to Easter.
  • In the English universities, a term held in the spring and lasting for about six weeks after Easter.
  • Eastern; easterly.
  • To change toward the east, as the wind; move toward the east, as the head of a vessel.

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

  • n. a Christian celebration of the Resurrection of Christ; celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox
  • n. a wind from the east

Etymologies

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

Middle English ester, from Old English ēastre; see aus- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English ēastre, apparently from Ēastre, the name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox.

Examples

  • Easter festivities: The Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, 1613 Lake Drive, Encinitas will hold the following activities Sunday: Easter Sunrise service in the Meditation Garden, 6 a.m.; celebration services in the sanctuary, 9 and 11 a.m.

    Fore, right!

  • He says that the Saxon invaders in Britain chomped on buns adorned with impressions of crosses in honor of the pagan goddess of light, Eostre, from whom the name Easter is derived.

    One For The Table: Perfect for Easter Hot Cross Buns

  • For the un-initiated, the term Easter eggs is geek parlance for secret gags and goofs buried deep inside software.

    PCWorld

  • Have you ever wondered where the term Easter comes from?

    The Latest on Air America

  • This Easter is the one-year anniversary of my being Catholic.

    How I Became a Sci Fi Catholic, Part 1

  • We have what we call Easter duty, which means sometime from Lent to Trinity Sunday, in that three or four month window, a Catholic is required to receive holy communion.

    Terri Schiavo news

  • At the opening of spring, when the Christians were celebrating the feast which they call Easter, there arose a mutiny among the soldiers in Libya.

    History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8) The Vandalic War

  • [743] It may be necessary to remind some English readers that in Latin and its derived European languages, what we call Easter is called the passover

    A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)

  • The city of Seattle purposely leaves out the word "Easter" from its annual community-center "spring egg hunts."

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Local News

  • Following the Lord's Passover victory, that which we call Easter, and his ascension after forty days to the Father's right hand, the disciples did continue on to follow the Lord by their obedience in staying together and coming together in prayer.

    The Continuum

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