Die Zeit (German pronunciation: [diː tsaɪt], literally The Time,) is a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism. With a circulation of 488,036 and an estimated readership of slightly above 2 million, it is the most widely read German weekly newspaper. The publishing house, Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius in Hamburg, is owned by the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.
The paper is considered to be highbrow. Its political direction is centrist to social democratic, but has oscillated a number of times between slightly left-leaning and slightly right-leaning. It is known for its very large physical paper format (Nordisch) and its long and detailed articles.
The first edition was printed on February 21, 1946. The founding publishers were Gerd Bucerius, Lovis H. Lorenz, Richard Tüngel and Ewald Schmidt di Simoni. Another important founder was Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, who published Die Zeit from 1972 until her death in 2002, from 1983 onwards together with former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, later joined by Josef Joffe and former German federal secretary of culture Michael Naumann.