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year

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noun American English pronunciation: year /jɪr/ 
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singularyear
pluralyears
  1. 1
    [countable] a period of 365 days, or 366 in a leap year, divided into 12 months

    He lived in Paris for a few years.

    1. a.
      used about a particular period of time, beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31, or between the first and last dates on some other calendar

      We're hoping to sell the house by the end of the year.

      last/next year (=the year before or after the present year):

      Profits are lower than last year.

    2. b.
      used about the period during which an institution operates, or about the system that it uses for dividing time
      the financial/fiscal/tax year:

      a budget for the fiscal year 2002

      the first weeks of the new school year

  2. 2

    years

    [plural] used about a particular period of time in history

    Conditions were very different in the postwar years (=the period after the war).

    1. a.
      a very long time

      It wasn't until years later that I realized how foolish I'd been.

      for years:

      He hasn't been back to the country for years.

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