use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

date 1 (dāt)
Share:
n.
1.
a. The time stated in terms of the day, month, and year: What is the date of your birth?
b. A statement of calendar time, as on a document.
2.
a. A particular point or period of time at which something happened or existed, or is expected to happen: the date of their wedding.
b. dates The years of someone's birth and death: Beethoven's dates were 1770 to 1827.
3. The time during which something lasts; duration: "Summer's lease hath all too short a date" (Shakespeare).
4. The time or historical period to which something belongs: artifacts of a later date.
5. An appointment: a luncheon date with a client. See Synonyms at engagement.
6.
a. An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.
b. One's companion on such an outing.
7. An engagement for a performance: has four singing dates this month.
v. dat·ed, dat·ing, dates
v.tr.
1. To mark or supply with a date: date a letter.
2. To determine the date of: date a fossil.
3. To betray the age of: Pictures of old cars date the book.
4. To go on a date or dates with.
v.intr.
1. To have origin in a particular time in the past: This statue dates from 500 BC.
2. To become old-fashioned.
3. To go on dates.
Idioms:
out of date
No longer in style; old-fashioned: clothes that went out of date last year.
to date
Until now: To date, only half of those invited have responded.
up to date
In or into accordance with current information, styles, or technology: brought me up to date on the project's status.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin data, from Latin data (Romae), issued (at Rome) (on a certain day), feminine past participle of dare, to give; see dō- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

data·ble, datea·ble adj.
dater n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
date 2 (dāt)
Share:
n.
1. The sweet, edible, oblong or oval fruit of the date palm, containing a narrow, hard seed.
2. A date palm.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Old Provençal datil, from Latin dactylus, from Greek daktulos, finger, date (from its shape).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.