AskDefine | Define Wednesday

Dictionary Definition

Wednesday n : the fourth day of the week; the third working day [syn: Wed]

User Contributed Dictionary



Wednesdai, from wōdnesdæġ, Woden's day, from the Proto-Germanic *Wod-enaz-, probably from *wod-eno-/*wod-ono-, raging, mad, inspired, from the base *wet-, to blow, to inspire, to arouse spiritually, + dæġ (see day).


  • (UK): /ˈwɛdnzdeɪ/, /"wEdnzdeI/ or /ˈwɛnzdeɪ/, /"wEnzdeI/ or /ˈwɛdnzdi/, /"wEdnzdi/ or /ˈwɛnzdi/, /"wEnzdi/
  • (US): /ˈwɛnzdeɪ/, /"wEnzdeI/ or /ˈwɛnzdi/, /"wEnzdi/

Proper noun

en-proper noun s
  1. The fourth day of the week in the USA, and the third day of the week in Europe and in systems using the ISO 8601 norm; it follows Tuesday and precedes Thursday.


day of the week


  1. on Wednesday


  • Irish: Dé Céadaoin

Extensive Definition

Wednesday is the third day of the week in most western countries and the fourth day of the week in the Christian calendar, between Tuesday and Thursday.

Origins of the name

See Days of the week for more on naming conventions.
The name comes from the Middle English Wednes dei, which is from Old English Wēdnes dæg, meaning the day of the Norse god Woden (Wodan) who was a god of the Anglo-Saxons in England until about the 7th century. Wēdnes dæg is like the Old Norse Oðinsdagr ("Odin's day"), which is an early translation of the Latin dies Mercurii ("Mercury's day"), and reflects the widespread association of Woden with Mercury going back to Tacitus.
In Romance languages it is derived from the name of the Roman god Mercury: mercredi (French), mercoledì (Italian), miércoles (Spanish), miercuri (Romanian), dimecres (Catalan), dies Mercurii (Latin). Similarly, in most of the Indian Languages the name for Wednesday, Buddhavar is derived from the Vedic name for Mercury, Buddha. Buddh is also used in Urdu. Russian does not use pagan names but instead uses sredá, meaning "middle," similar to the German Mittwoch. Likewise, Portuguese uses the word quarta-feira, meaning "fourth day."

Position in the week

When Sunday is taken as the first of the week, the day in the middle of each week is Wednesday. Arising from this, the German name for Wednesday has been Mittwoch (literally: "mid-week") since the 10th Century, having displaced the former name: Wodanstag ("Wodan's day"). The Finnish name is similar: Keskiviikko (literally: "middle of the week") as is the Icelandic name: Miðvikudagur ("Mid-week day"). Wednesday is "sereda" in Ukrainian, which has the same word base as "seredyna", which is translated as "middle".
Wednesday is also in the middle of the common Western 5-day workweek that starts on Monday and finishes on Friday.

Religious observances

Quakers traditionally refer to Wednesday as "Fourth Day", eschewing the pagan origin of the name "Wednesday". Most eastern languages also use a name with this meaning, for much the same reason.
The Eastern Orthodox Church observe Wednesday (as well as Friday) as a fast day throughout the year (with the exception of several fast-free periods during the year). Fasting on Wednesday and Fridays entails abstinence from meat or meat products (i.e., four-footed animals), poultry and dairy products. Unless a feast day occurs on a Friday, the Orthodox also abstain from fish, from using oil in their cooking and from alcoholic beverages (there is some debate over whether abstention from oil involves all cooking oil or only olive oil). For the Orthodox, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ and the Theotokos (Mother of God), especially as she stood by the foot of the cross. There are hymns in the Octoekhos which reflect this liturgically. These include special Theotokia (hymns to the Mother of God) called Stavrotheotokia ("Cross-Theotokia"). The dismissal at the end of services on Wednesday begins with these words: "May Christ our true God, through the power of the precious and life-giving cross...."
According to the Hebrew Bible, Wednesday is the day when the Sun and Moon were created.

Cultural references

An English language idiom for Wednesday is "hump day", a reference to making it through to the middle of the work week as getting "over the hump."
In the folk rhyme, "Wednesday's child is full of woe". In another rhyme reciting the days of the week, Solomon Grundy was 'Married on Wednesday.' In Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the disagreeable nature of the weather is attributed to it being "Winds-Day" (a play on "Wednesday"). In Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar Wednesday is the day when the sun shines grey.
Wednesday is used as a character's first or last name in several narrative works, including Thursday's fictions by Richard James Allen, Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, and the 60's television show, The Addams Family.
A song titled "Wednesday's Song" is on the 2004 album Shadows Collide with People by John Frusciante, and "Wednesday" is the title of a song on musician Tori Amos' "Scarlet's Walk" album.
According to the Thai solar calendar, the color associated with Wednesday is green.

Common occurences


The astrological sign of the planet Mercury represents Wednesday -- Dies Mercurii to the Romans, with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Mercredi and the Spanish Miércoles. In English, this became "Woden's Day", since the Roman god Mercury was identified with Woden in northern Europe.

Named days

  • Ash Wednesday, the first day of Roman Catholic Lent, occurs forty days before Easter, not counting Sundays.
  • Spy Wednesday is an old name given to the Wednesday immediately preceding Easter, in allusion to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.
Wednesday in Afrikaans: Woensdag
Wednesday in Tosk Albanian: Mittwoch
Wednesday in Amharic: ረቡዕ
Wednesday in Old English (ca. 450-1100): Wēdnesdæg
Wednesday in Arabic: أربعاء
Wednesday in Franco-Provençal: Demécro
Wednesday in Asturian: Miércoles
Wednesday in Azerbaijani: Çərşənbə
Wednesday in Bengali: বুধবার
Wednesday in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Серада
Wednesday in Bosnian: Srijeda
Wednesday in Breton: Merc'her (deiz)
Wednesday in Bulgarian: Сряда
Wednesday in Catalan: Dimecres
Wednesday in Chuvash: Юнкун
Wednesday in Cebuano: Miyerkoles
Wednesday in Czech: Středa
Wednesday in Corsican: Marcuri
Wednesday in Welsh: Dydd Mercher
Wednesday in Danish: Onsdag
Wednesday in German: Mittwoch
Wednesday in Estonian: Kolmapäev
Wednesday in Modern Greek (1453-): Τετάρτη
Wednesday in Erzya: Куншкачи
Wednesday in Spanish: Miércoles
Wednesday in Esperanto: Merkredo
Wednesday in Basque: Asteazken
Wednesday in Ewe: Kuɖagbe
Wednesday in Faroese: Mikudagur
Wednesday in French: Mercredi
Wednesday in Western Frisian: Woansdei
Wednesday in Friulian: Miercus
Wednesday in Irish: Céadaoin
Wednesday in Gan Chinese: 禮拜三
Wednesday in Scottish Gaelic: Di-Ciadain
Wednesday in Galician: Mércores
Wednesday in Korean: 수요일
Wednesday in Armenian: Չորեքշաբթի
Wednesday in Hindi: बुधवार
Wednesday in Croatian: Srijeda
Wednesday in Indonesian: Rabu
Wednesday in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Mercuridi
Wednesday in Icelandic: Miðvikudagur
Wednesday in Italian: Mercoledì
Wednesday in Hebrew: יום רביעי
Wednesday in Javanese: Rebo
Wednesday in Kannada: ಬುಧವಾರ
Wednesday in Georgian: ოთხშაბათი
Wednesday in Kazakh: Сәрсенбі
Wednesday in Cornish: Dy' Mergher
Wednesday in Kirghiz: Шаршемби
Wednesday in Swahili (macrolanguage): Jumatano
Wednesday in Haitian: Mèkredi
Wednesday in Kurdish: Çarşem
Wednesday in Ladino: Mierkoles
Wednesday in Latin: Dies Mercurii
Wednesday in Latvian: Trešdiena
Wednesday in Luxembourgish: Mëttwoch
Wednesday in Lithuanian: Trečiadienis
Wednesday in Lombard: Mercurdí
Wednesday in Hungarian: Szerda
Wednesday in Macedonian: Среда
Wednesday in Malay (macrolanguage): Rabu
Wednesday in Dutch: Woensdag
Wednesday in Dutch Low Saxon: Woonsdag
Wednesday in Nepali: बुधवार
Wednesday in Japanese: 水曜日
Wednesday in Neapolitan: Miercurì
Wednesday in Norwegian: Onsdag
Wednesday in Norwegian Nynorsk: Onsdag
Wednesday in Narom: Mêcrédi
Wednesday in Occitan (post 1500): Dimècres
Wednesday in Uzbek: Chorshanba
Wednesday in Central Khmer: ថ្ងៃពុធ
Wednesday in Low German: Middeweken
Wednesday in Polish: Środa
Wednesday in Portuguese: Quarta-feira
Wednesday in Kölsch: Mettwoch
Wednesday in Quechua: Quyllurchaw
Wednesday in Russian: Среда
Wednesday in Scots: Wadensday
Wednesday in Albanian: E mërkura
Wednesday in Sicilian: Mèrcuri
Wednesday in Simple English: Wednesday
Wednesday in Slovak: Streda
Wednesday in Church Slavic: Срѣда
Wednesday in Slovenian: Sreda
Wednesday in Somali: Arbaco
Wednesday in Serbian: Среда
Wednesday in Serbo-Croatian: Sreda
Wednesday in Sundanese: Rebo
Wednesday in Finnish: Keskiviikko
Wednesday in Swedish: Onsdag
Wednesday in Tagalog: Miyerkules
Wednesday in Tatar: Çärşämbe
Wednesday in Thai: วันพุธ
Wednesday in Vietnamese: Thứ Tư
Wednesday in Tok Pisin: Trinde
Wednesday in Turkish: Çarşamba (gün)
Wednesday in Buginese: Rabaa
Wednesday in Ukrainian: Середа
Wednesday in Urdu: بدھ
Wednesday in Venetian: Mèrcore
Wednesday in Võro: Kolmapäiv
Wednesday in Walloon: Mierkidi
Wednesday in Vlaams: Woensdag
Wednesday in Yiddish: מיטוואך
Wednesday in Yoruba: Ọjọ́rú
Wednesday in Contenese: 星期三
Wednesday in Zamboanga Chavacano: Miercoles
Wednesday in Samogitian: Trečiadėinis
Wednesday in Chinese: 星期三
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