Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a soldier from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, especially in the First World War

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun ANZAC is an acronym, formed from the initial letters of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was first used in 1915.


April 25 is ANZAC Day, a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand (celebrated by a public holiday today because it fell at the weekend). ANZAC, also spelled Anzac, is an acronym, meaning that it is pronounced as a word rather than by sounding the individual letters as happens with initialisms. The term ANZAC is associated in particular with the First World War and especially with the Gallipoli campaign in which many Australian, New Zealand and Turkish soldiers lost their lives, as well as those of other nationalities. The date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the first day of the campaign and it has been held since 1916, just one year after the event. ANZAC Day is normally celebrated by marches and dawn services to commemorate the start of the campaign, but this year the marches were cancelled and people participated in the dawn service from their homes.


“This is a day not of celebration but of national memory. It’s a day when we learn, and learn again, of the horror of purposeless war.”
(Bob Carr)

Related words

First World War, Gallipoli, commemoration, remembrance

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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