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Middle English vacacioun, from Anglo-French vacacion, from Latin vacation-, vacatio freedom, exemption, from vacare

In the United Kingdom, vacation once specifically referred to the long summer break taken by the law courts and, later, universities—a custom introduced by William the Conqueror from Normandy where it facilitated the grape harvest. In the past, many upper-class families moved to a summer home for part of the year, leaving their usual family home vacant.

For lesson on the topic of Vacation, follow this link.


  • 1 : a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
  • 2 a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended
b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
  • 3 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation <had a restful vacation at the beach>
  • 4 : an act or an instance of vacating


A holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted. Examples of types of holidays include:

  • Official or unofficial observances of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities
  • A general leave of absence or vacation from a regular occupation for rest or recreation

A holiday can also refer to a specific trip or journey for the purposes of recreation or tourism. People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacations or holidays are often spent with friends or family.

A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap year, or career break.