Easter
Easter Eas"ter ([=e]s"t[~e]r), n. [AS. e['a]ster, e['a]stran, paschal feast, Easter; akin to G. ostern; fr. AS. E['a]stre, a goddess of light or spring, in honor of whom a festival was celebrated in April; whence this month was called in AS. E['a]sterm[=o]na[eth]. From the root of E. east. See {East}.] 1. An annual church festival commemorating Christ's resurrection, and occurring on Sunday, the second day after Good Friday. It corresponds to the pascha or passover of the Jews, and most nations still give it this name under the various forms of {pascha}, {pasque}, {p[^a]que}, or {pask}. [1913 Webster]

2. The day on which the festival is observed; Easter day. [1913 Webster]

Note: Easter is used either adjectively or as the first element of a compound; as, Easter day or Easter-day, Easter Sunday, Easter week, Easter gifts, Easter eggs. [1913 Webster]

Sundays by thee more glorious break, An Easter day in every week. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

Note: Easter day, on which the rest of the movable feasts depend, is always the first Sunday after the fourteenth day of the calendar moon which (fourteenth day) falls on, or next after, the 21st of March, according to the rules laid down for the construction of the calendar; so that if the fourteenth day happen on a Sunday, Easter day is the Sunday after. --Eng. Cyc. [1913 Webster]

{Easter dues} (Ch. of Eng.), money due to the clergy at Easter, formerly paid in communication of the tithe for personal labor and subject to exaction. For Easter dues, Easter offerings, voluntary gifts, have been substituted.

{Easter egg}. (a) A painted or colored egg used as a present at Easter. (b) An imitation of an egg, in sugar or some fine material, sometimes made to serve as a box for jewelry or the like, used as an Easter present. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Easter — O.E. Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and spring, probably originally of sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra , from PIE *aus to shine (especially of the… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Easter — (also Easter Day or Easter Sunday) ► NOUN ▪ the festival of the Christian Church celebrating the resurrection of Christ, held (in the Western Church) on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox. ORIGIN Old… …   English terms dictionary

  • Easter — [ēs′tər] n. [ME ester < OE eastre, pl. eastron, spring, Easter; orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church < Eastre, dawn goddess < PGmc * Austro (> Ger Ostern) < IE base *… …   English World dictionary

  • Easter — East er, v. i. (Naut.) To veer to the east; said of the wind. Russell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Easter — (Myth.), so v.w. Eostra …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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