Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ninth month of the year in the Islamic calendar. See Table at calendar.
  • n. A fast, held from sunrise to sunset, that is carried out during this period.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The holy ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, during which Muslims fast between the break of dawn until sunset; they also refrain from drinking liquids, smoking and having sexual relations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The ninth Mohammedan month.
  • n. The great annual fast of the Mohammedans, kept during daylight through the ninth month.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The ninth month of the Mohammedan year, and the period of the annual thirty days' fast or Mohammedan Lent, rigidly observed daily from dawn until sunset, when all restrictions are removed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; the month of fasting; the holiest period for the Islamic faith
  • n. (Islam) a fast (held from sunrise to sunset) that is carried out during the Islamic month of Ramadan

Etymologies

Arabic Ramaḍān, from ramaḍ, dryness, from ramiḍa, to be scorched; see rmṢ́ in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic رمضان (ramaḍān), from ارتمض (irtámaḍa, "to be consumed by grief and sorrow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Qassem Zein/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images RAMADAN PRAYERS: Shiite Muslim men held Qurans on their heads during Ramadan prayers in Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday on "Lailat al Qadr," or "Night of Power," which marks the night the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.

    Today's Photos: Sept. 9

  • Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters RAMADAN BEGINS: Muslims attended prayers on the eve of the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Aug. 31.

    Photos of the Year: The Best

  • Economic-Policy Rift Arises in Japan's Ruling Party Yannis Behrakis/Getty Images RAMADAN PRAYERS: Palestinian women prayed Wednesday in a temple in Jerusalem's Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    Today's WSJ in Photos: Sept. 3, 2008

  • China Arrests Two Suspects In Tainted-Milk Probe Detiksurabaya/Agence France-Press -- Getty Images RAMADAN STAMPEDE: People forced their way forward for a Ramadan cash handout in Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia, Monday.

    Today's WSJ in Photos: Sept. 15, 2008

  • U.S. Drafts S.eeping Plan to Fight Crisis Kevin Frayer/Associated Press RAMADAN CHECKPOINT: Palestinians disembarked from a bus at a checkpoint on their way to pray during the holy month of Ramadan at the Al Aqsa Mosque near Jerusalem Friday.

    Today's Photos: Sept. 19

  • Kamarul Akhir/Agence France-Press -- Getty Images RAMADAN PRAYERS: Malaysian Muslims prayed at a Kuala Lumpur mosque on the second Friday noon prayer of Ramadan.

    Today's WSJ in Photos: Sept. 12, 2008

  • Ali Ali/European Pressphoto Agency RAMADAN REJOICING: A Palestinian man set off fireworks Monday to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City.

    Today's WSJ in Photos: Sept. 02, 2008

  • The word Ramadan is derived from an Arabic word that encompasses a situation of hot weather, parched ground and scarcity of food.

    Muslims’ holy month of fasting starts

  • I remember being very happy in Ramadan, since during that time of the year I could see Abu Hussein, the musahharati who used to bang the drum and wake people up for suhur — the early morning last meal the faithful are allowed to have before daybreak, when actual fasting starts.

    Global Voices in English » Palestine: Remembering Shafiq Al Hout

  • Ramadan is undoubtedly a month of frenzied consumerism.

    Global Voices in English » Maghreb: Ramadan Good Wishes and More

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