1. The time of light, or interval between one night and the next; the time between sunrise and sunset, or from dawn to darkness; hence, the light; sunshine; -- also called daytime.
2. The period of the earth's revolution on its axis. -- ordinarily divided into twenty-four hours. It is measured by the interval between two successive transits of a celestial body over the same meridian, and takes a specific name from that of the body. Thus, if this is the sun, the day (the interval between two successive transits of the sun's center over the same meridian) is called a solar day; if it is a star, a sidereal day; if it is the moon, a lunar day. See Civil day, Sidereal day, below.
3. Those hours, or the daily recurring period, allotted by usage or law for work.
4. A specified time or period; time, considered with reference to the existence or prominence of a person or thing; age; time.
A man who was great among the Hellenes of his day. --Jowett (Thucyd. )
If my debtors do not keep their day, . . .
I must with patience all the terms attend. --Dryden.
5. (Preceded by the) Some day in particular, as some day of contest, some anniversary, etc.
The field of Agincourt,
Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus. --Shak.
His name struck fear, his conduct won the day. --Roscommon.
Note: ☞ Day is much used in self-explaining compounds; as, daybreak, daylight, workday, etc.
Anniversary day. See Anniversary, n.
Astronomical day, a period equal to the mean solar day, but beginning at noon instead of at midnight, its twenty-four hours being numbered from 1 to 24; also, the sidereal day, as that most used by astronomers.
Born days. See under Born.
Canicular days. See Dog day.
Civil day, the mean solar day, used in the ordinary reckoning of time, and among most modern nations beginning at mean midnight; its hours are usually numbered in two series, each from 1 to 12. This is the period recognized by courts as constituting a day. The Babylonians and Hindoos began their day at sunrise, the Athenians and Jews at sunset, the ancient Egyptians and Romans at midnight.
Day blindness. Med. See Nyctalopia.
Day by day, or Day after day, daily; every day; continually; without intermission of a day. See under By. “Day by day we magnify thee.” --Book of Common Prayer.
Days in bank Eng. Law, certain stated days for the return of writs and the appearance of parties; -- so called because originally peculiar to the Court of Common Bench, or Bench (bank) as it was formerly termed. --Burrill.
Day in court, a day for the appearance of parties in a suit.
Days of devotion R. C. Ch., certain festivals on which devotion leads the faithful to attend mass. --Shipley.
Days of grace. See Grace.
Days of obligation R. C. Ch., festival days when it is obligatory on the faithful to attend Mass. --Shipley.
Day owl, Zool., an owl that flies by day. See Hawk owl.
Day rule Eng. Law, an order of court (now abolished) allowing a prisoner, under certain circumstances, to go beyond the prison limits for a single day.
Day school, one which the pupils attend only in daytime, in distinction from a boarding school.
Day sight. Med. See Hemeralopia.
Day's work Naut., the account or reckoning of a ship's course for twenty-four hours, from noon to noon.
From day to day, as time passes; in the course of time; as, he improves from day to day.
Jewish day, the time between sunset and sunset.
Mean solar day Astron., the mean or average of all the apparent solar days of the year.
One day, One of these days, at an uncertain time, usually of the future, rarely of the past; sooner or later. “Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.” --Shak.
Only from day to day, without certainty of continuance; temporarily. --Bacon.
Sidereal day, the interval between two successive transits of the first point of Aries over the same meridian. The Sidereal day is 23 h. 56 m. 4.09 s. of mean solar time.
To win the day, to gain the victory, to be successful. --S. Butler.
Week day, any day of the week except Sunday; a working day.
Working day. (a) A day when work may be legally done, in distinction from Sundays and legal holidays. (b) The number of hours, determined by law or custom, during which a workman, hired at a stated price per day, must work to be entitled to a day's pay.
n 1: time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis; "two
days later they left"; "they put on two performances
every day"; "there are 30,000 passengers per day" [syn:
twenty-four hours, solar day, mean solar day]
2: some point or period in time; "it should arrive any day
now"; "after that day she never trusted him again"; "those
were the days"; "these days it is not unusual"
3: the time after sunrise and before sunset while it is light
outside; "the dawn turned night into day"; "it is easier
to make the repairs in the daytime" [syn: daytime, daylight]
4: a day assigned to a particular purpose or observance;
5: the recurring hours when you are not sleeping (especially
those when you are working); "my day began early this
morning"; "it was a busy day on the stock exchange"; "she
called it a day and went to bed"
6: an era of existence or influence; "in the day of the
dinosaurs"; "in the days of the Roman Empire"; "in the
days of sailing ships"; "he was a successful pianist in
7: a period of opportunity; "he deserves his day in court";
"every dog has his day"
8: the period of time taken by a particular planet (e.g. Mars)
to make a complete rotation on its axis; "how long is a
day on Jupiter?"
9: the time for one complete rotation of the earth relative to
a particular star, about 4 minutes shorter than a mean
solar day [syn: sidereal day]
10: United States writer best known for his autobiographical
works (1874-1935) [syn: Clarence Day, Clarence Shepard
The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32). It
was originally divided into three parts (Ps. 55:17). "The heat
of the day" (1 Sam. 11:11; Neh. 7:3) was at our nine o'clock,
and "the cool of the day" just before sunset (Gen. 3:8). Before
the Captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (1)
from sunset to midnight (Lam. 2:19); (2) from midnight till the
cock-crowing (Judg. 7:19); and (3) from the cock-crowing till
sunrise (Ex. 14:24). In the New Testament the division of the
Greeks and Romans into four watches was adopted (Mark 13:35).
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan.
3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the
Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to
sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John
The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen.
2:4; Isa. 22:5; Heb. 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a
birthday, and in Isa. 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim. 1:18, the
great day of final judgment.