Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

silly season

noun

Definition of silly season

  1. 1 :  a period (as late summer) when the mass media often focus on trivial or frivolous matters for lack of major news stories

  2. 2 :  a period marked by frivolous, outlandish, or illogical activity or behavior



Did You Know?

Silly season was coined in the mid-19th century to describe the time when journalists face a bit of a conundrum: Washington is on summer break and European governments are on vacation, but the columns of space newspapers typically devote to politics must still be filled - hence stories about beating the heat and how celebrities are also managing to do so. The idea is comical, really, since there's always something going on somewhere. P.G. Wodehouse understood the absurdity inherent in the term when he wrote in his 1909 comic novel, The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved English, "It was inevitable, in the height of the Silly Season, that such a topic as the simultaneous invasion of Great Britain by nine foreign powers should be seized upon by the press." Inevitable indeed.

1861

First Known Use of silly season

1861


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up silly season? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!