Language: Old English
Origin: gear


year S1 W1 [countable]

12 months

TMC a period of about 365 days or 12 months, measured from any particular time:
I arrived here two years ago.
We've known each other for over a year.
It's almost a year since Sue died.
Jodi is 15 years old.
a three-year business plan
a four-year-old child
be 12/21 etc years of age (=be 12/21 etc years old)
financial year, fiscal year, light year, tax year

january to december

also calendar yearTMC a period of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning on January 1st and ending on December 31st:
the year that Kennedy died
at the end of the year
She goes there every year.
in the year 1785
this year's cup final
The museum attracts 100,000 visitors a year.
in the early years of last century
leap year, new year


a) informal a very long period of time [= ages]:
It's years since I rode a bike.
in/for years
I haven't been there for years.
It was the first time in years I'd seen her.
b) age, especially old age
a man/woman/person etc of his/her etc years
Gordon is very active for a man of his years.
getting on in years (=no longer young)

all (the) year round

during the whole year:
It's warm enough to swim all year round.

year by year

as each year passes:
Business has steadily increased year by year.

year after year/year in, year out

every year for many years:
Many birds return to the same spot year after year.

period of life/history

a particular period of time in someone's life or in history
somebody's childhood/early/teenage/retirement etc years
those who start to smoke in their teenage years
the war/Depression/boom etc years
the boom years of the 1980's
somebody's years in/at something
during his years in China
somebody's years as something
Sheila enjoyed her years as a student in Oxford.
In later years he turned to writing poetry.

the school/academic year

the time within a period of 12 months when students are studying at a school or university

school/university level

especially British English a particular level that a student stays at for one year:
a group of year seven students
in a year
He was in my year at school.

first/second etc year

British EnglishSE someone who is in their first etc year at school or university:
The department offers a study skills programme for all first years.

musician/player/car etc of the year

the musician etc who was voted the best in a particular year
vote/name something ... of the year
The new Renault was voted car of the year.

never/not in a million years

spoken used to say that something is extremely unlikely:
Never in a million years did I think we'd lose.

the year dot

British English informal a very long time ago:
Scientists have been involved in war since the year dot.

put years on somebody/take years off somebody

to make someone look or feel older or younger:
Tina's divorce has put years on her.

➔ donkey's years

at donkey (2)

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