sun·​spot ˈsən-ˌspät How to pronounce sunspot (audio)
: any of the dark spots that appear at times on the sun's surface and are usually visible only through a telescope

Examples of sunspot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Note the sunspots and cloudy smears in the lower half of the window at right. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 Predictions are based on a formula that includes sunspot activity, moon phases, and the position of the planets. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 8 Aug. 2023 These sunspots are associated with higher levels of solar activity, often the indicator that solar flares or coronal mass ejections are likely to occur. Ellie Willard, The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2023 Water vapor even exists on our sun in sunspot regions. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 2 May 2023 The formula uses sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon, the position of the planets and other factors to make predictions, but the entirety of its contents are allegedly known only by a single prognosticator with the pseudonym of Caleb Weatherbee, the site said. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 14 Aug. 2023 Special telescopes All of the filters above will show the sun’s surface and any large features such as sunspots and the curve of the moon blocking the sun inch by inch. Dean Regas, The Enquirer, 20 July 2023 In June scientists monitored 163 sunspots, according to NOAA. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 18 July 2023 Astronomers have been watching the sun closely this year and detecting additional solar activity like sunspots and solar prominences that have triggered the northern lights. Dean Regas, The Enquirer, 14 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sunspot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sunspot was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near sunspot

Cite this Entry

“Sunspot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sun·​spot -ˌspät How to pronounce sunspot (audio)
: one of the dark spots that appear from time to time on the sun's surface and are usually visible only through a telescope

More from Merriam-Webster on sunspot

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