solstice

noun
sol·​stice | \ ˈsäl-stəs How to pronounce solstice (audio) , ˈsōl-, ˈsȯl-\

Definition of solstice

1 : either of the two points on the ecliptic at which its distance from the celestial equator is greatest and which is reached by the sun each year about June 21 and December 21
2 : the time of the sun's passing a solstice which occurs about June 21 to begin summer in the northern hemisphere and about December 21 to begin winter in the northern hemisphere

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Did You Know?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs on June 21 or 22 and the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the solstices are exactly the opposite. For several days around the time of the solstices, the sun's appearance on the horizon at sunrise and sunset seems to occur at the same spot, before it starts drifting to the north or south again. Solstice gets its shine from sol, the Latin word for "sun." The ancients added sol to -stit- ("standing") and came up with solstitium. Middle English speakers shortened solstitium to solstice in the 13th century.

Examples of solstice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The winter solstice is almost nine hours shorter than the longest day of the year in June, which boasts daylight for around 16 hours and 38 minutes. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Winter Solstice 2018: Who Celebrates the First Day of Winter?," 20 Dec. 2018 Luckily, Deborah Hanekamp, seeress, shaman, and founder of Mama Medicine, says that the most spiritually significant plants for the solstice are also some of the most common. refinery29.com, "The 3 Plants You Need To Welcome Summer," 20 June 2018 The summer solstice, then, is the day when the sun rises at its maximum northern excursion. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Summer solstice: What is it and why does it happen?," 20 June 2018 The Alaska Skydive Center is bringing you a bevy of different skydiving jumps to try: glacier jumps, helicopter jumps and a midnight solstice jump. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Celebrating summer solstice: Here are parties and events around Alaska," 21 June 2018 According to National Geographic, landmarks at Machu Picchu line up with astronomical events such as the solstice sunset. Devin Alessio, ELLE Decor, "How To Travel To Peru...Like Gwyneth Paltrow," 14 Apr. 2016 The temps may have already risen to sweat-worthy heights, but the summer season won't officially arrive until this Thursday, June 21, with the summer solstice. refinery29.com, "The 3 Plants You Need To Welcome Summer," 20 June 2018 The origins of Groundhog Day are traced to the 1700s when German settlers arrived in the United States, bringing a tradition known as Candlemas Day, a celebration of the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Groundhog Day 2018: Punxsutawney Phil spots shadow and forecasts six more weeks of winter," 2 Feb. 2018 The Start of the Christmas Tree Whenever a winter solstice came around, the ancient Egyptians would decorate their temples and homes with evergreen trees and wreaths as a form of celebration. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?," 15 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solstice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of solstice

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for solstice

Middle English, from Latin solstitium, from sol sun + -stit-, -stes standing; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at solar, stand

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Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for solstice

The first known use of solstice was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for solstice

solstice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of solstice

: one of the two times during the year when the sun is farthest north or south of the equator

solstice

noun
sol·​stice | \ ˈsäl-stəs How to pronounce solstice (audio) , ˈsōl-, ˈsȯl-\

Kids Definition of solstice

: the time of the year when the sun passes overhead the farthest north ( summer solstice , about June 22) or south ( winter solstice , about December 22) of the equator

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More from Merriam-Webster on solstice

Spanish Central: Translation of solstice

Nglish: Translation of solstice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solstice for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about solstice

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