day

day
/deI/ noun PERIOD OF TIME
1 (C) a period of 24 hours: We spent three days in Paris then went south. | What day is it today - Tuesday? | the day before yesterday: I just saw Pat the day before yesterday. | the day after tomorrow: We're leaving for LA the day after tomorrow.
2 (C, U) the period of time between when it becomes light in the morning and the time it becomes dark: I'm usually out during the day. | It rained all day. | by day (=during the day): Owls usually sleep by day and hunt by night.
THE TIME YOU ARE AWAKE
3 (countable usually singular) the time during the day when you are awake: His day begins at six. | long day (=a day when you had to get up early and were busy all day): It's been a very long day. | all day (long) (=during the whole time you are awake): I've been studying all day. I'm beat!
FUTURE
4 one day also some day at an unknown time in the future: One day I'll buy a boat and sail around the world.
5 one of these days informal at some time in the future: I might find the time to paint the bedroom one of these days.
6 any day (now) spoken very soon: She's expecting the baby any day now.
7 the day will come (when) used to emphasize that something will definitely happen at some time in the future: The day will come when he loses his eyesight completely.
PAST
8 one day on a particular day in the past: One day, she just didn't turn up for work, and we never saw her again.
9 childhood/student/army days the time when you were a child, student, soldier etc
10 the good old days time in the past that you think was better that the present time: In the good old days people never had to lock their doors.
11 those were the days spoken used to say that a time in the past was better than the present time
12 the other day a few days ago; recently: We had a letter from Kim the other day.
13 in those days during a period of time in the past: Women wore long skirts in those days.
14 in my day used to describe what things were like when you were young: In my day we used to have to get up at six o'clock.
15 in his or her day during the most successful part of someone's life: Your grandfather was a famous radio personality in his day.
16 the standards/fashion/wages etc of the day the standards etc that existed in a particular period of time in the past
17 five/three/nine years to the day exactly five years, three years, etc ago: It's two years to the day since we moved here.
SB'S LIFE/STH'S EXISTENCE
18 sb's days someone's life: She ended her days in poverty.
19 sb's/sth's days are numbered someone or something will not continue to exist or be effective: The days of the vinyl record are numbered.
WORK
20 (C) the time spent working during a 24-hour period: I work an eight-hour day. | Did you have a good day at the office?
—see also: working day
21 day off a day when you do not have to work: I'm taking a day off next week.
22 be on days spoken to be working during the day doing a job that you often have to do at night, for example, if you work in a hospital: I'm on days this week.
EACH DAY/EVERY DAY
23 day after day happening continuously for a long time so that you become annoyed or bored: I couldn't stand sitting at a desk day after day.
24 from day to day if something changes from day to day it change often
—compare day­to­day
25 day by day slowly and gradually: Her health was improving day by day.
26 day in, day out every day for a long time: She cooked and cleaned day in, day out for forty years.
27 night and day also day and night all the time; continuously: He was attended by nurses night and day.
NOW
28 these days used to talk about your situation, behaviour, feelings etc now, especially if they used to be different: I don't go out much these days - once or twice a month at the most.
29 in this day and age used when you are surprised or annoyed that something still happens: I find it incredible that such punishments still exist in this day and age.
30 to this day even now, after so much time has passed: To this day I don't know who told Katy about Duncan.
31 up to/until/to the present day from a time in the past until now: This tradition has continued right up until the present day.
BAD THINGS HAPPEN
32 it's not my/your/his day spoken used when several unpleasant things have happened to someone in one day: It's really not Chris's day - he overslept, his car broke down, and he spilt coffee on his new pants.
33 have an off day to be less successful or happy than usual, for no particular reason: His work isn't usually this bad - he must have had an off day.
34 it's (just) one of those days spoken used when everything seems to be going wrong: It's just been one of those days.
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN
35 make sb's day to make someone very happy: Hearing her voice on the phone really made my day.
36 it's your/his/my lucky day! used when something very good happens to someone: Ruth just found a ten pound note in the street. It must be her lucky day!
PLEASURE
37 make a day of it spoken to choose to spend all day doing something, usually for pleasure, when you could have spent only part of the day doing it: We were going into New York for the concert anyway, so we decided to make a day of it.
38 day out especially BrE a day spent at the beach, in the countryside, at the zoo etc
SUCCESS/FAME
39 sb's day will come used to say that someone will have a chance to succeed in the future, even if they are not successful now
40 have had your day to be no longer successful, powerful, or famous: It seems as if Communism has had its day.
SPOKEN PHRASES
41 that'll be the day spoken used to say that you think something is very unlikely to happen: “Bill says he'll wash the dishes tonight.” “That'll be the day!”
OTHER MEANINGS
42 not have all day spoken to not have much time available: Hurry up, we don't have all day!
43 it's not every day (that) spoken used to say that something does not happen often and is therefore very special: Let's go out and celebrate. After all, it's not every day you get a new job.
44 (live to) see the day spoken to experience something that you thought would never happen: I never thought I'd live to see the day when women became priests.
45 40/50/60 etc if she's a day spoken used to emphasize that someone is at least as old as you are saying: She's ninety if she's a day.
46 from one day to the next if something changes from one day to the next, it does not stay the same for very long: I never know where he'll be from one day to the next.
47 soup/dish/fish of the day the special soup etc that a restaurant serves on a particular day
48 day of action BrE a day when the workers in a particular place stop working for one day, to protest about something; a strike 2 (1)
49 the day of reckoning the time when you are punished or made to suffer for the things you have done wrong
—see also: call it a day call 1 (27), carry the day carry 1 (23), every dog (has) its day dog 1 (11), have a field day field day (1), half­day, it's early days early 1 (5), it's (a little) late in the day late 1 (9), open day, save the day save 1 (11), speech day, sports day USAGE NOTE: DAY WORD CHOICE: from day to day, day by day, day after day Something that changes or goes on day by day or from day to day is a continuous action: The problem is getting worse day by day. | We just muddle along from day to day. Separate events that are repeated happen day after day: Day after day he tramps the streets looking for work (=he does the same thing every day). GRAMMAR Remember that on is used with days and the word day itself: on Thursday/on that day/on the same day/on the second day (NOT in or at) On is never used with the phrase the other day, when you do not say the exact day when something happened: I saw Joey in Dick's Bar the other day (=a few days ago). Compare: We spent two days in the mountains - on one day we went hiking and on the other we went fishing. Note that you say in those days but these days (NOT in these days): In those days not many people had TVs, but these days a lot of households have more than one. Remember that the phrase is during the day: I couldn't get much work done during the day (NOT during day or in the day, though you can say in the daytime).). You do not use the with all day. SPELLING Remember that today is one word.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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