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From Middle English month, moneth, from Old English monaþ ‎(month), from Proto-Germanic *mēnōþs ‎(month), from Proto-Indo-European *mḗh₁n̥s ‎(moon, month), probably from Proto-Indo-European *mê- ‎(to measure), referring to the moon's phases as the measure of time, equivalent to moon +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots moneth ‎(month); North Frisian muunt ‎(month); Saterland Frisian Mound ‎(month), Dutch maand ‎(month); German Low German Maand, Monat ‎(month); German Monat ‎(month); Danish måned ‎(month); Swedish månad ‎(month); Icelandic mánuði ‎(month); Latin mēnsis ‎(month); Ancient Greek μήν ‎(mḗn); Armenian ամիս ‎(amis); Old Irish ; Old Church Slavonic мѣсѧць ‎(měsęcĭ). See also moon.



month ‎(plural months) The plural is occasionally seen as month (unchanged)

  1. A period into which a year is divided, historically based on the phases of the moon. In the Gregorian calendar there are twelve months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.
    July is my favourite month.
    • 2013 August 3, “Boundary problems”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too. GDP measures the total value of output in an economic territory. Its apparent simplicity explains why it is scrutinised down to tenths of a percentage point every month.
  2. A period of 30 days, 31 days, or some alternation thereof.
    We went on holiday for two months.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.
    • 2011 September 29, Jon Smith, “Tottenham 3-1 Shamrock Rovers”, in BBC Sport:
      With the north London derby to come at the weekend, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp opted to rest many of his key players, although he brought back Aaron Lennon after a month out through injury.
  3. (obsolete, in the plural) A woman's period; menstrual discharge.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, vol.I, New York, 2001, p.234:
      Sckenkius hath two other instances of two melancholy and mad women, so caused from the suppression of their months.

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Most common English words before 1923: original · provide · determined · #819: month · news · prepared · support