Word of the Day

VE Day

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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


Victory in Europe Day: 8 May, 1945, when the fighting of the Second World War officially ended in Europe

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The VE in VE Day stands for ‘Victory in Europe’ and the term was first recorded in print in the Washington Post in September 1944. It has been written in various ways, including V-E Day, VE-Day and VE Day; the last is currently the most commonly used.


VE Day is not usually a national holiday, but this year in the UK the usual early May bank holiday has been moved from Monday 4th May to the following Friday in order to mark the 75th anniversary of the day on which World War 2 officially ended in Europe. For many people weekdays and weekends are pretty much indistinguishable at the moment, but events are planned around the country including two minutes’ silence at 11 am, socially distanced street parties and a national singalong of a popular World War 2 hit at 9 pm. VE Day resembles D-Day in that it started life as a piece of military jargon before passing into common usage.


“In his VE Day announcement, Winston Churchill said: “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead”.”

Related words

the Allies, D-Day, Normandy Landings, VJ Day

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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