\ 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

At Treasure Key Airport, hundreds of survivors awaited evacuation by plane, most sitting in the sun without shelter or toilets. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "'Paradise has been turned to hell': Residents, aid workers in Bahamas deal with Dorian devastation," 8 Sep. 2019 The longer they're kept in the sun, the darker their leaves will turn. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Spooky Black Succulents Exist, And They’re Perfect for Halloween," 5 Sep. 2019 In addition, macroplastics like single-use bags float out to sea and bake in the sun, causing them to break into much smaller fragments that then swirl in the water column. Wired, "Plastic Will Be the Shameful Artifact Our Descendants Dig Up," 4 Sep. 2019 Studio staff members were bleaching cotton duck and knit fabrics on the asphalt in the sun, preparing a few yards at a time to send to the factories. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 Those who properly feared witches and worshipped Daley’s wisdom in all things fiscal are probably in a vacation paradise now, enjoying a boat ride in the sun, and squeezing the fruits of their clout with him and loving it. John Kass,, "Column: Mayor Lightfoot has patience, but soon, she’ll have to be bold," 30 Aug. 2019 Marin residents and animal control officers are reporting an uptick in rattlesnake sightings as the reptiles slither out to bask in the sun. Adrian Rodriguez, The Mercury News, "North Bay rattlesnake sightings have residents on edge," 27 Aug. 2019 In the Greek myth of Icarus, wings that melt in the sun are a tragedy. Prachi Patel, Scientific American, "Disappearing Plastics Stay Strong in the Shadows and Melt Away in the Sun," 26 Aug. 2019 Swift's moment in the sun at Monday night's show came 10 years after her first trip to the VMAs was memorably interrupted by Kanye West, who bum-rushed the stage during Swift's acceptance speech in a moment that became viral legend. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Taylor Swift Thanks 'YNTCD' Cast 'For Being The Example That You Are' After Winning Video Of The Year at VMAs," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Peer into a coastal canal for up-close views of sharks, and go tide pooling to spot fire-red Sally Lightfoot crabs sunning on the rocks alongside spiky marine iguanas. National Geographic, "Ecuador and the Galápagos Expedition: Biodiversity Hotspot," 10 Sep. 2019 The town of Delphi, with terraced hotels, rustic tavernas and sunning cats, is a charming and convenient base. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Voyage to the Center of the World," 9 July 2019 Visitors to Manhattan’s Riverside Park sunned themselves on a bench after a recent rainstorm, admiring the sweeping view of the Hudson River. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Flooding in Riverside Park: Good for Ducks. Bad for Amtrak Trains Below?," 21 July 2019 Nearby, Larinda Cole sunned herself in a chair at M Street Beach., "Heat and humidity offer a weekend-long, double-barreled assault," 19 July 2019 Tapirs barrel through the grass, caymans sun themselves on rocks and the array of brightly colored birds is breathtaking. NBC News, "Jaguar reintroduction plan in Argentina represents rare good news story for big cats," 21 July 2019 The park has a yoga lawn and an event lawn, fitness center and a community pool with a lazy river, lap lanes, sunning decks and shade structures. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Howard Hughes Corp. marks milestone in The Woodlands Hills," 19 July 2019 Peer into a coastal canal for up-close views of sharks, and go tide pooling to spot fire-red Sally Lightfoot crabs sunning on the rocks alongside spiky marine iguanas. National Geographic, "Ecuadorian Amazon and the Galápagos High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 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

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

13 Sep 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).


recurring in steady succession

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