Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


They are no longer afraid to lie down as they may have been for a week.

The Bineses, with the exception of Psyche, were at breakfast a week later.

Then you could have stayed in the factory, and got your wages regularly every week.

"It will take me a week to get your clothes ready," said Mrs. Rushton.

Have faith in me for a week, mother, and see if I don't earn something in that time.

There is sufficient water to last the party about a week, but not more.

There must have been a hundred camped here about a week ago.

When absent for a week, I knew to a few minutes when we should meet again.

The week elapsed, and at the end of it, I had not presented myself at his residence.

This accounts for his ability to get through in one day more than most people do in a week.


Old English wice, from Proto-Germanic *wikon (cf. Old Norse vika, Old Frisian wike, Middle Dutch weke, Old High German wecha, German woche), probably originally with the sense of "a turning" or "succession" (cf. Gothic wikon "in the course of," Old Norse vika "sea-mile," originally "change of oar," Old English wican "yield, give way"), from PIE root *weik- "to bend, wind" (see vicarious).

"Meaning primarily 'change, alteration,' the word may once have denoted some earlier time division, such as the 'change of moon, half month,' ... but there is no positive evidence of this" [Buck]. No evidence of a native Germanic week before contact with the Romans. The seven-day week is ancient, probably originating from the 28-day lunar cycle, divisible into four periods of seven day, at the end of each of which the moon enters a new phase. Reinforced during the spread of Christianity by the ancient Jewish seven-day week.

As a Roman astrological convention it was borrowed by other European peoples; the Germanic tribes substituting their own deities for those of the Romans, without regard to planets. The Coligny calendar suggests a Celtic division of the month into halves; the regular Greek division of the month was into three decades; and the Romans also had a market week of nine days.

Phrase a week, as in eight days a week recorded by 1540s; see a- (1).


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.