Word of the Day


Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the eleventh month of the year, between October and December

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The noun November comes from Latin and French words meaning ‘ninth month’ as it was the ninth month of the year in the Roman calendar. It has been used in English since the time of Old English.


November is a month that has little to recommend it in the eyes of many, including maybe the poet Thomas Hood, who summed up the month in the poem featured in the second quotation below. In the UK the days grow steadily shorter until the winter solstice in December, and the weather is frequently wet and windy, with occasional periods of sharp cold. In compensation, the month is punctuated by celebrations, some of them featuring fire and light to brighten the gloom. In the UK, Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes’ Night is on 5th, while this year the Hindu festival of Diwali falls in the middle of the month. At the end of the month is the US festivity of Thanksgiving.


Dull November brings the blast, Then the leaves are falling fast.
(Sara Coleridge, The Months)

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!


(Thomas Hood, November)

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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