sol·​sti·​tial | \ säl-ˈsti-shəl How to pronounce solstitial (audio) , sōl-, sȯl- \

Definition of solstitial

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a solstice and especially the summer solstice
2 : happening or appearing at or associated with a solstice

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Solstitial arrived in English in the 14th century by way of Anglo-French. Both "solstitial" and "solstice" can be traced back to the Latin word solstitium, meaning "solstice," and ultimately to sol, meaning "sun," and "-stit-" or -stes, meaning "standing." Some unsurprising relatives include "solar," "solarium" (a room used for sunbathing or therapeutic exposure to light), and "parasol" (a lightweight umbrella used as a sunshade). A less obvious relative is "armistice," which was coined partially by analogy with the way "solstice" had been formed from the "-stitium" ending.

First Known Use of solstitial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for solstitial

Middle English solsticial, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin solstitialis, from solstitium

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

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Cite this Entry

“Solstitial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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