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
solstice was our Word of the Day on 12/21/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of solstice from the Web
Maxima and minima in average temperature lag the solstices by 3-4 weeks.
The date, which occurs on or around the summer solstice, is important in voodoo culture.
For San Diegans, summer solstice means Mainly Mozart is in full swing.
Elsewhere in New York, Diane von Furstenberg gathered her circle for a picnic on Ellis Island to celebrate the summer solstice; guests included Derek Blasberg and Allison Williams.
Kendall Jenner wasn't the only celeb who whipped out a fresh outfit for Wednesday's summer solstice.
The summer solstice today marks the official start of summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
The amount of daylight will decline gradually until the winter solstice, 11:28 a.m. on Dec. 21.
Observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, and since Ramadan this year overlaps with the summer solstice, and sunrise occurs well before 6 a.m., some Muslims will eat large meals in predawn hours.
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.
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.
SOLSTICE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of solstice for English Language Learners
: one of the two times during the year when the sun is farthest north or south of the equator
SOLSTICE Defined for Kids
Definition of solstice for Students
: 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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