- January late 13c., Ieneuer, from O.N.Fr. Genever, O.Fr. Jenvier (Mod.Fr. Janvier), attested from early 12c. in Anglo-French, from L. Ianuarius (mensis) " (the month) of Janus," to whom the month was sacred as the beginning of the year (see JANUS (Cf. Janus); Cf. It. Gennajo, Prov. Genovier, Port. Janeiro). The form was gradually Latinized by c.1400. Replaced O.E. geola se æfterra "Later Yule." In Chaucer, a type-name for an old man.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.
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January — Jan u*a*ry, n. [L. Januarius, fr. Janus an old Latin deity, the god of the sun and the year, to whom the month of January was sacred; cf. janua a door, Skr. y[=a] to go.] The first month of the year, containing thirty one days. [1913 Webster]… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
January — ► NOUN (pl. Januaries) ▪ the first month of the year. ORIGIN from Latin Januarius mensis month of Janus (the Roman god who presided over doors and beginnings) … English terms dictionary
January — [jan′yo͞o er΄ē] n. pl. Januaries [ME Janyuere < L Januarius ( mensis), (the month) of JANUS, to whom it was sacred] the first month of the year, having 31 days: abbrev. Jan, Ja, or J … English World dictionary
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