in·​so·​la·​tion ˌin-(ˌ)sō-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce insolation (audio)
: exposure to the sun's rays
: solar radiation that has been received
: the rate of delivery of direct solar radiation per unit of horizontal surface
broadly : that relating to total solar radiation

Examples of insolation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Harden blossomed into an insolation superstar in Houston but has largely deferred to Embiid with the Sixers., 29 June 2023 More vegetation means more insolation, and more insolation means a warmer ground—thereby melting the permafrost and releasing carbon into the air. Graham Hacia, Wired, 23 Sep. 2020 Even farther out, at Ganymede, Jupiter would have appeared scarcely brighter than today’s sun—a level of insolation with no significant impact on the moon’s ice. Nola Taylor Tillman, Scientific American, 24 Apr. 2023 Output from renewables varies seasonally and annually due to insolation differences and trends in weather, which means there may be periods of over- and undergeneration. Carla Delgado, Popular Science, 24 Apr. 2023 This is because the Sun's rays were momentarily blocked, creating a dip in insolation, or the amount of solar radiation reaching an area. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 27 Dec. 2017 After more than a year out of their routines, some of it in insolation, her audience wanted to connect more than ever. Globe Staff,, 29 June 2022 Both players missed the past five games while in insolation and are questionable to play Wednesday night against Boston, the second straight matchup between the two teams. James Boyd, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Jan. 2022 The drill core reveals that the climate of East Africa was largely influenced by changes in solar insolation, which led to either wet or dry climate conditions. David Bressan, Forbes, 16 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insolation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French or Latin; French, from Latin insolation-, insolatio, from insolare to expose to the sun, from in- + sol sun — more at solar

First Known Use

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of insolation was in 1617

Dictionary Entries Near insolation

Cite this Entry

“Insolation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​so·​la·​tion ˌin(t)-(ˌ)sō-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce insolation (audio)
: solar radiation that has been received (as by the earth)

Medical Definition


in·​so·​la·​tion ˌin(t)-(ˌ)sō-ˈlā-shən, in-ˌsō- How to pronounce insolation (audio)
: exposure to the rays of the sun
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