From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Holiday \Hol"i*day\, n. [Holy + day.]
   1. A consecrated day; religious anniversary; a day set apart
      in honor of some person, or in commemoration of some
      event. See Holyday.
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   2. A day of exemption from labor; a day of amusement and
      gayety; a festival day.
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            And young and old come forth to play
            On a sunshine holiday.                --Milton.
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   3. (Law) A day fixed by law for suspension of business; a
      legal holiday.
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   Note: In the United States legal holidays, so called, are
         determined by law, commonly by the statutes of the
         several States. The holidays most generally observed
         are: the 22d day of February (Washington's birthday),
         the 30th day of May (Memorial day), the 4th day of July
         (Independence day), the 25th day of December (Christmas
         day). In most of the States the 1st day of January is a
         holiday. When any of these days falls on Sunday,
         usually the Monday following is observed as the
         holiday. In many of the States a day in the spring (as
         Good Friday, or the first Thursday in April), and a day
         in the fall (as the last Thursday in November) are now
         regularly appointed by Executive proclamation to be
         observed, the former as a day of fasting and prayer,
         the latter as a day of thanksgiving and are kept as
         holidays. In England, the days of the greater church
         feasts (designated in the calendar by a red letter, and
         commonly called red-letter days) are observed as
         general holidays. Bank holidays are those on which, by
         act of Parliament, banks may suspend business. Although
         Sunday is a holiday in the sense of a day when business
         is legally suspended, it is not usually included in the
         general term, the phrase "Sundays and holidays" being
         more common.
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   The holidays, any fixed or usual period for relaxation or
      festivity; especially, Christmas and New Year's day with
      the intervening time.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Holiday \Hol`i*day\, a.
   1. Of or pertaining to a festival; cheerful; joyous; gay.
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   2. Occurring rarely; adapted for a special occasion.
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            Courage is but a holiday kind of virtue, to be
            seldom exercised.                     --Dryden.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vacation \Va*ca"tion\, n. [F., fr. L. vacatio a being free from
   a duty, service, etc., fr. vacare. See Vacate.]
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   1. The act of vacating; a making void or of no force; as, the
      vacation of an office or a charter.
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   2. Intermission of a stated employment, procedure, or office;
      a period of intermission; rest; leisure.
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            It was not in his nature, however, at least till
            years had chastened it, to take any vacation from
            controversy.                          --Palfrey.
      [1913 Webster] Hence, specifically: 
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      (a) (Law) Intermission of judicial proceedings; the space
          of time between the end of one term and the beginning
          of the next; nonterm; recess. "With lawyers in the
          vacation." --Shak.
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      (b) A period of intermission of regular paid work or
          employment, or of studies and exercises at an
          educational institution; the time during which a
          person temporarily ceases regular duties of any kind
          and performs other activites, usually some form of
          liesure; holidays; recess (at a school); as, the
          spring vacation; to spend one's vacation travelling;
          to paint the house while on vacation. Vacation is
          typically used for rest, travel, or recreation, but
          may be used for any purpose. In Britain this sense of
          vacation is usually referred to as holiday.
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      (c) The time when an office is vacant; esp. (Eccl.), the
          time when a see, or other spiritual dignity, is
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