- week O.E. wice, from P.Gmc. *wikon (Cf. O.N. vika, O.Fris. wike, M.Du. weke, O.H.G. wecha, Ger. woche), probably originally with the sense of "a turning" or "succession" (Cf. Goth. wikon "in the course of," O.N. vika "sea-mile," originally "change of oar," O.E. wican "yield, give way"), from PIE root *weik- "to bend, wind" (see VICARIOUS (Cf. vicarious)). "Meaning primarily 'change, alteration,' the word may once have denoted some earlier time division, such as the 'change of moon, half month,' ... but there is no positive evidence of this" [Buck]. No evidence of a native Germanic week before contact with the Romans. The seven-day week is ancient, probably originating from the 28-day lunar cycle, divisible into four periods of seven day, at the end of each of which the moon enters a new phase. Reinforced during the spread of Christianity by the ancient Jewish seven-day week. As a Roman astrological convention it was borrowed by other European peoples; the Germanic tribes substituting their own deities for those of the Romans, without regard to planets. The Coligny calendar suggests a Celtic division of the month into halves; the regular Greek division of the month was into three decades; and the Romans also had a market week of nine days.Greek planetary names [for the days of the week] ... are attested for the early centuries of our era, but their use was apparently restricted to certain circles; at any rate they never became popular. In Rome, on the other hand, the planetary names became the established popular terms, too strongly intrenched to be displaced by the eccl[esiastical] names, and spreading through most of western Europe. [Buck]Phrase a week, as in eight days a week recorded by 1540s; see A- (Cf. a-) (1).
Etymology dictionary. 2014.
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week — W1S1 [wi:k] n [: Old English; Origin: wicu] 1.) a period of seven days and nights, usually measured in Britain from Monday to Sunday and in the US from Sunday to Saturday once/twice/three times etc a week ▪ Letters were delivered twice a week… … Dictionary of contemporary English
week — [ wik ] noun count *** a period of seven days, usually counted from a Sunday: He travels south two days a week. That left 15 dollars per week for food. last/next week: He will meet his uncle in Boston next week. a. a week in which particular… … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
week — [wēk] n. [ME weke < OE wicu with lengthened & lowered vowel, akin to Ger woche (OHG wohha) < IE * weig , to bend (see WEAK): basic sense “period of change”] 1. a period of seven days, esp. one beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday… … English World dictionary
week — /week/, n. 1. a period of seven successive days, usually understood as beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday. 2. a period of seven successive days that begins with or includes an indicated day: the week of June 3; Christmas week. 3.… … Universalium
week|ly — «WEEK lee», adjective, adverb, noun, plural lies. –adj. 1. of a week; for a week; lasting a week. 2. done, happening, or appearing once a week or each week: »She writes a weekly letter to her grandmother. 3. of or having to do with the working… … Useful english dictionary
Week — Week, n. [OE. weke, wike, woke, wuke AS. weocu, wicu, wucu; akin to OS. wika, OFries. wike, D. week, G. woche, OHG. wohha, wehha, Icel. vika, Sw. vecka, Dan. uge, Goth. wik?, probably originally meaning, a succession or change, and akin to G.… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
week in — week in, week out Continuously without a break • • • Main Entry: ↑week … Useful english dictionary
week — ► NOUN 1) a period of seven days. 2) the period of seven days generally reckoned from and to midnight on Saturday night. 3) chiefly Brit. (preceded by a specified day) a week after (that day). 4) the five days from Monday to Friday, or the time… … English terms dictionary
Week — For more details on each day of the week, see Weekday names. For the TV station in the Peoria Bloomington, Illinois market, see WEEK TV. Weeks redirects here. For other uses, see Weeks (disambiguation). A week is a time unit equal to seven days.… … Wikipedia
week — n. 1) to spend a week (somewhere) 2) last; next; this week 3) a week from (Tuesday) 4) by the week (she is paid by the week) 5) during the week 6) for a week (they came here for a week) 7) for weeks (she hasn t been here for weeks; AE also has:… … Combinatory dictionary