a traditional unit of time equal to seven days3. The custom of the seven-day week, with one day set aside for rest and religious observance, goes back more than 3000 years to the ancient civilizations of the Middle East. The seven days originally had an astrological significance; there is one day for each of the five visible planets and one each for the sun and the moon. Christians and Moslems inherited the seven-day cycle from the Jewish religion. The Romans picked up the idea from the Persians and were using the week as early as the first century. When the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire, early in the fourth century CE, the Christian version of the week, with Sunday as the day of religious observance, became official throughout the Empire. Since none of the units of Roman date-keeping (the month, the quarter, and the year) equal a whole number of weeks, this made it necessary for the first time to have tables (we call them calendars!) showing the ever-changing relationship between the days of the week and the dates of the month. Link: The World Calendar Association promotes efforts to reform the calendar so that weeks and months would have a fixed relationship. Link: A perpetual calendar provides calendars for any month and year in the current (Gregorian) calendar.
   Note: There are different traditions as to which day of the week is the first. In the U.S., most calendars show Sunday as the first day of the week, but the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) specifies that the week begins with Monday. There are also different ideas about how to number the weeks of the year, which is sometimes necessary for business purposes. The official solution to this question is that week 1 of the year is the week (beginning with Monday) that contains January 4. By this convention, week 1 of 2010 will be the week January 4-10, 2010. Link: ISO 8601 from Markus Kuhn.

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.

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  • week — W1S1 [wi:k] n [: Old English; Origin: wicu] 1.) a period of seven days and nights, usually measured in Britain from Monday to Sunday and in the US from Sunday to Saturday once/twice/three times etc a week ▪ Letters were delivered twice a week… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • week — [ wik ] noun count *** a period of seven days, usually counted from a Sunday: He travels south two days a week. That left 15 dollars per week for food. last/next week: He will meet his uncle in Boston next week. a. a week in which particular… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • week — [wēk] n. [ME weke < OE wicu with lengthened & lowered vowel, akin to Ger woche (OHG wohha) < IE * weig , to bend (see WEAK): basic sense “period of change”] 1. a period of seven days, esp. one beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday… …   English World dictionary

  • week — /week/, n. 1. a period of seven successive days, usually understood as beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday. 2. a period of seven successive days that begins with or includes an indicated day: the week of June 3; Christmas week. 3.… …   Universalium

  • week|ly — «WEEK lee», adjective, adverb, noun, plural lies. –adj. 1. of a week; for a week; lasting a week. 2. done, happening, or appearing once a week or each week: »She writes a weekly letter to her grandmother. 3. of or having to do with the working… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Week — Week, n. [OE. weke, wike, woke, wuke AS. weocu, wicu, wucu; akin to OS. wika, OFries. wike, D. week, G. woche, OHG. wohha, wehha, Icel. vika, Sw. vecka, Dan. uge, Goth. wik?, probably originally meaning, a succession or change, and akin to G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • week — O.E. wice, from P.Gmc. *wikon (Cf. O.N. vika, O.Fris. wike, M.Du. weke, O.H.G. wecha, Ger. woche), probably originally with the sense of a turning or succession (Cf. Goth. wikon in the course of, O.N. vika sea mile, originally change of oar …   Etymology dictionary

  • week in — week in, week out Continuously without a break • • • Main Entry: ↑week …   Useful english dictionary

  • week — ► NOUN 1) a period of seven days. 2) the period of seven days generally reckoned from and to midnight on Saturday night. 3) chiefly Brit. (preceded by a specified day) a week after (that day). 4) the five days from Monday to Friday, or the time… …   English terms dictionary

  • Week — For more details on each day of the week, see Weekday names. For the TV station in the Peoria Bloomington, Illinois market, see WEEK TV. Weeks redirects here. For other uses, see Weeks (disambiguation). A week is a time unit equal to seven days.… …   Wikipedia

  • week — n. 1) to spend a week (somewhere) 2) last; next; this week 3) a week from (Tuesday) 4) by the week (she is paid by the week) 5) during the week 6) for a week (they came here for a week) 7) for weeks (she hasn t been here for weeks; AE also has:… …   Combinatory dictionary

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