sunset

1 of 3

noun

sun·​set ˈsən-ˌset How to pronounce sunset (audio)
1
: the apparent descent of the sun below the horizon
also : the accompanying atmospheric effects
2
: the time when the upper limb of the sun disappears below the horizon as a result of the diurnal rotation of the earth
3
: a period of decline
especially : old age

sunset

2 of 3

adjective

: stipulating the periodic review of government agencies and programs in order to continue their existence
sunset laws

sunset

3 of 3

verb

sunsetted; sunsetting
1
transitive, US : to cause or allow (something, such as a law) to lapse, end, or be terminated
And yet, even though he was part of the coalition, Obama offered an amendment … that would have sunsetted the merit-based evaluation system for immigrants after five years.Jake Tapper
In an effort to cut back on projects, Google decided to sunset Google Reader …Tristan Louis
2
intransitive, US : to lapse or come to an end : expire
laws that will sunset at the end of the year
Since the credit will sunset at the end of 2016, its fate could rest in the hands of a new Congress and a new president—who might not necessarily see the value in reinstating the credit.Eric S. Peterson

Example Sentences

Noun We worked from sunrise to sunset. the golden light of sunset
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Enjoy fishing, boating, watching the sunset, gazing at stars and more. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Jan. 2023 Perhaps the best view of the neighborhood and ideal for watching sunset is from their rooftop! James Barrett, Redbook, 11 Jan. 2023 Its deck overlooking the ocean was the perfect place to enjoy happy hour, birdwatch, and take in the sunset. Carly Helfand, Condé Nast Traveler, 10 Jan. 2023 Our small hotel, Pax Guest House, was outside town, overlooking sheepfolds and cow pastures, with long views out to the sea, and also toward the sunset. Beth Jones, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Jan. 2023 The Puerto Rican beauty's ideal date night would include watching the sunset at the beach with a picnic dinner. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 4 Jan. 2023 Tip: The Seven-Mile Bridge is also a fantastic spot to watch the sunset—a surefire way to disconnect at the end of the day. Outside Online, 3 Jan. 2023 Take a stroll at the Eluanbi Park, where a towering lighthouse stands -- one of the top eight iconic landmarks on the island -- and walk down to the southernmost tip of Taiwan, a perfect spot to watch the sunset. CNN, 21 Dec. 2022 Southwest’s leadership has been frank about the fact that restoring the dividend was a high priority after the sunset of government aid restrictions. Dallas News, 7 Dec. 2022
Adjective
The moon appears this week as a slim crescent in the post-sunset sky. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 22 Jan. 2023 This post-sunset lighting can be seen in the introductory image above, which showcases reddish hues bouncing off the white cores and upper stage. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 16 Jan. 2023 However, this year the probable culprit—the occasionally extraordinarily bright planet Venus—will return this week to the post-sunset western sky. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 18 Dec. 2022 The post ends with a sunset aerial view of her Hidden Hills property, showing the manicured landscape, a basketball court and a glimpse of a pool. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 30 Nov. 2022 Then, the post-sunset meal, iftar, is eaten together with family or the broader Muslim community. Elissa Welle, Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2022 The two brightest nighttime objects appear separated by just 4° in Earth’s post-sunset skies. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 6 Sep. 2021 Jupiter is now the only bright planet left in the post-sunset sky. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 30 Jan. 2022 So, why not hang out at the barn office post-sunset? San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Nov. 2021
Verb
The group would automatically sunset at the end of June 2025. Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2023 The legislation will sunset a requirement of the COVID-19 public health emergency that prohibited states from booting people off Medicaid. Amanda Seitz, Chicago Tribune, 20 Dec. 2022 The entire emergency allotment program across the country is set to sunset in February, so all SNAP beneficiaries will no longer be able to claim them come March. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, 10 Jan. 2023 At the oceanfront venue, a DJ will be playing music all day from 11 a.m. to sunset. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Jan. 2023 The farm’s high perch offers bicoastal views of neighboring islands including Koho’olawe and Lana’i, and the West Maui mountains, and dessert is timed to sunset. Jen Murphy, Outside Online, 29 Dec. 2022 The color offers a means of incorporating the red hair trend—which has veered from ginger to copper to sunset over the past year—while maintaining the classic merits of a brunette mane. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 23 Dec. 2022 Read the full breakdown of popular perks employers have decided to sunset here. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 24 Oct. 2022 Prior to that, lawmakers raised the wage replacement from 55% to 60-70% depending on a person’s average weekly wage, although that increase was scheduled to sunset Jan. 1 if Newsom did not sign AB 951. Melody Gutierrezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

1974, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1976, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sunset was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near sunset

Cite this Entry

“Sunset.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sunset. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

sunset

noun
sun·​set
-ˌset
1
: the apparent sinking of the sun below the horizon
also : the accompanying atmospheric effects
2
: the time at which the sun sets

Legal Definition

sunset

adjective
sun·​set
: having or being a provision stipulating the termination or repeal of something (as a law, grant, or insurance coverage) on a specified date
sunset laws requiring periodic review of programs to justify their continuance

More from Merriam-Webster on sunset

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