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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the eighth month of the year, between July and September

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The month of August gets its name from the Roman Emperor Augustus, who was given that title when he took sole control of the empire. It has been in use since the time of Old English.


Just as July was named after his adopted father Julius Caesar, August was named after the man formerly known as Gaius Octavius, Octavius Caesar or Octavian, after he assumed supreme power in Rome. It was previously called ‘sextilis’ or sixth month. Octavian was awarded the titles of ‘Princeps’ (which means ‘first’, he never actually called himself ‘Emperor’) and ‘Augustus’ by the Roman Senate in 27 BC. The Latin adjective ‘augustus’ means worthy of respect and gave us our adjective ‘august‘.


August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the Harvest home is borne.”
(Sara Coleridge, The Months)

Related words

summer, harvest, season, calendar

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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