Year | Definition, Etymology, Synonyms & Antonyms


Year (noun)


A “year” is a unit of time that is commonly used to measure the period it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun. It is a fundamental concept in the calendar system and is often divided into months, weeks, days, and other subdivisions for practical and organizational purposes.


The term “year” has its origins in Old English and Germanic languages. It is related to the Proto-Germanic word “jēr” and is thought to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European root “yer,” which means “to yearn” or “desire.”


  • Annum (Latin)
  • Twelve months
  • Calendar year
  • Solar year


  • Month
  • Day
  • Hour


A unique example of the concept of a year is the ancient Egyptian calendar, which had a different structure from the modern Gregorian calendar. The Egyptian calendar consisted of 12 months of 30 days each, with five additional days added at the end of the year to align with the solar year.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are there different types of years in different calendar systems?

Yes, various cultures and civilizations have used different calendar systems with varying year lengths. For example, the Islamic calendar is lunar-based and has shorter years, while the Chinese calendar is lunisolar and has varying year lengths.

When does the concept of a “new year” vary across cultures?

The date considered the start of a new year can vary across cultures and calendars. For example, the Gregorian calendar marks January 1 as the new year, but other cultures, such as the Chinese and Islamic calendars, have different new year dates.

Why is a year divided into months and weeks?

The division of a year into months and weeks helps organize time and activities. Months correspond roughly to lunar cycles, while weeks are a convenient way to divide time for work, rest, and religious observances.

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