\ ˈsən How to pronounce sun (audio) \

Definition of sun

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a often capitalized : the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve, from which they receive heat and light, which is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, and which has a mean distance from earth of about 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers), a linear diameter of 864,000 miles (1,390,000 kilometers), and a mass 332,000 times greater than earth
b : a celestial body like the sun : star
2 : the heat or light radiated from the sun played in the sun all day
3 : one resembling the sun (as in warmth or brilliance)
4 : the rising or setting of the sun from sun to sun
in the sun
: in the public eye
under the sun
: in the world : on earth


sunned; sunning

Definition of sun (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to expose to or as if to the rays of the sun

intransitive verb

: to sun oneself

Definition of Sun (Entry 3 of 3)


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Synonyms for sun

Synonyms: Noun

sunlight, sunshine

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Examples of sun in a Sentence


The rain has stopped and the sun is shining. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. the warmth of the sun's rays They dream of traveling to distant suns. Try to keep out of the sun. The cat lay basking in the sun.


People sunned themselves on the hillside.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perfection then and again at dawn, as the sun rose behind Zion's sentinels, smearing the morning sky in soft pastels. James Murren,, "At Utah's Gooseberry Mesa, the joy and power of wilderness prevail," 13 July 2019 Behind the desk, the East River shimmers while the sun, now risen, beams through a window as small vessels float by and cars scurry along the Brooklyn Bridge like ants in a row. Kaelen Jones,, "'It Don't Stop': Jalen Rose's Work Days Are a Whirlwind," 11 July 2019 The planet will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight (local time) and will set in the western sky as the sun rises again Wednesday morning. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Tonight's a Great Night To See Saturn's Rings," 9 July 2019 Some neighbors lingered on stoops or on the sidewalk until the sun rose. Alice Yin,, "6 killed, 63 others wounded by gun violence in long Fourth of July weekend," 8 July 2019 As the sun rose Saturday, officials fanned out across the remote, high desert towns of Ridgecrest and Trona to determine the extent of the damage. Anchorage Daily News, "No deaths reported in the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Southern California," 6 July 2019 Exclusive experiences include food tastings with award-winning chefs; behind-the-scenes horse farm tours; and watching horses run laps on the iconic track as the sun rises. Necee Regis,, "Here, there, and everywhere," 25 June 2019 The sun rose at 6 a.m. Saturday morning (June 22) in New Orleans and an hour later the doors of the Orpheum Theatre opened. Hanna Krueger,, "“We don’t do pity parties. We do parties”: New Orleans sends Dr. John off in style," 22 June 2019 Before the sun rose, a white mob stormed the jailer, took a weakened and wounded Perry from his cell, near present-day Heritage Square, and hanged him, reportedly in view of Judge John Cheney’s home. Stephen Hudak,, "Downtown marker memorializes July Perry, lynched in Orlando nearly a century ago," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 25th anniversary ESSENCE Festival celebration set the city of New Orleans on fire from sun up to sun down over the 4th of July weekend—and that included the launch of our first-ever official after party series! Essence, "ESSENCE After Dark: Everything You Missed At The First Official ESSENCE Fest After Party Series," 15 July 2019 Light spills from almost every corner of the home, as large windows allow sunshine to enter from sun up to sun down. Sarah Cook,, "See the hillside retreat of one Birmingham architect," 22 June 2019 Hippos did hippo things, while enormous crocodiles sunned themselves on the rocks. Ken Geiger, National Geographic, "Take a solo safari through South Africa’s wild grasslands," 30 May 2019 In South Carolina, Hilton Head Island and Myrtle Beach are popular places to visit and sun worship. Sheila Vilvens,, "Looking for places to go to escape the rain? We found a few," 18 June 2019 Doesn't an afternoon spent sunning yourself on the beach with family sound nothing short of wonderful? Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "This Father’s Day, Take the Dads in Your Life to the Beach," 6 June 2019 There is nothing like riding a bike in the desert, sun shining down on you, with open spaces as far as the eye can see. Samantha Leal, Marie Claire, "Riding a Motorcycle Through the Desert Was the Coolest Experience of My Life," 20 Apr. 2017 There was Lady Daphne Cameron splayed across a tiger skin rug in a trophy room and Dolores Guinness sunning herself, Babe Paley relaxing at her Jamaican retreat and CZ Guest at her famous Villa Artemis. Fiorella Valdesolo, Town & Country, "Slim Aarons and Napoleon Perdis Collection," 8 July 2014 An emu holds lemonade, a koala rides a bike, and a crocodile suns himself. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Most Unusual Baby Gifts Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Received So Far," 24 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sun.' 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 sun


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sun


Middle English sunne, from Old English; akin to Old High German sunna sun, Latin sol — more at solar

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Learn More about sun

Dictionary Entries near sun



sum up



sun's mean longitude

sun's way

Statistics for sun

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sun

The first known use of sun was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sun



English Language Learners Definition of sun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the star that the Earth moves around and that gives the Earth heat and light
: any star that has planets which move around it
: the heat or light produced by the sun : sunshine or sunlight



English Language Learners Definition of sun (Entry 2 of 2)

: to sit or lie in the light of the sun especially in order to make your skin darker


\ ˈsən How to pronounce sun (audio) \

Kids Definition of sun

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the heavenly body in our solar system whose light makes our day and around which the planets revolve
2 : sunshine sense 1 I'm going outside to get some sun.
3 : a heavenly body like our sun


sunned; sunning

Kids Definition of sun (Entry 2 of 3)

: to expose to or lie or sit in the rays of the sun

Kids Definition of Sun.


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More from Merriam-Webster on sun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sun

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sun

Spanish Central: Translation of sun

Nglish: Translation of sun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sun for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sun

Comments on sun

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


something desired as essential

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