In the ancient Hebrew calendar: the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh of the civil year, corresponding to the latter part of March and the early part of April.
Later called by the Babylonian name Nisan.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in The New Testament. Originally from Hebrew 'āḇīḇ (in ḥodeš ha-'āḇīḇ month in which the young ears of barley are formed, i.e. month of beginning of spring (Exodus 13:4, etc.) from ḥodeš month + ha- the + 'āḇīḇ young ear of barley (Exodus 9:31)).