Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the ninth month of the Muslim year, when Muslims do not eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun Ramadan is a borrowing from words in Turkish, Persian and Arabic. It was first used in English in the 16th century.


Today marks the end of the first week of Ramadan, the month of fasting between dawn and sunset observed by Muslims. Because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar rather than the solar cycle, the timing of Ramadan varies year by year, moving eleven days earlier each year and moving through all the months of the year over a period of about three decades. The fast is broken daily with the post-sunset meal or iftar. This is often a sociable moment, with friends and families eating together. This year, however, social distancing regulations mean that people are expected to stay in household groups, and any wider socializing has to be done remotely using social media and other electronic tools.

Related words

Eid, iftar, suhoor

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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