winter

noun
win·ter | \ ˈwin-tər \

Definition of winter 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the season between autumn and spring comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of December, January, and February or as reckoned astronomically extending from the December solstice to the March equinox

2 : the colder half of the year

3 : year happened many winters ago

4 : a period of inactivity or decay

winter

verb
wintered; wintering\ˈwin-t(ə-)riŋ \

Definition of winter (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to pass the winter winters in the Caribbean

2 : to feed or find food during the winter used with on

transitive verb

: to keep, feed, or manage during the winter

winter

adjective

Definition of winter (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or suitable for winter a winter vacation winter clothes

2 : sown in the autumn and harvested in the following spring or summer winter wheat winter rye — compare summer

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Synonyms for winter

Synonyms: Noun

downtime, layoff, time-out

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Examples of winter in a Sentence

Noun

They spend winters in Florida. We're in for a cold winter this year, I hear. She traveled there two winters ago. the last day of winter

Verb

The birds will winter in the southern part of the country. My family winters in Florida. The farm agreed to winter our horses for us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Circus City Festival Peru is known as the Circus City, because several large circuses used to spend the winters there. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Of the 19,058 people who started this year, nearly 6,000 finished in the race’s final, creaking hour, as the winter sunlight drained from the sky above the coastal city of Durban. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Africa's unlikely ultramarathoner helps others cross the finish line," 6 July 2018 Ron Berger, another longtime friend who spends winters in the Lower 48, said Cordova liked to write letters. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "A month before he died, a beloved Anchorage bartender met his daughter," 30 June 2018 The couple, in retirement, spent winters in Marco Island, Fla., and also visited her relatives in Lahinch and Kilshanny, Ireland. Marvin Pave, BostonGlobe.com, "Virginia Gill, 92, longtime Globe ad-taker for classified section," 28 June 2018 Following an All-County winter season, Sule excelled in the long and triple jump again this spring. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Sydney Robinson sprints towards girls outdoor track and field Athlete of the Year honors," 26 June 2018 June 21 marks the 2018 winter solstice for people south of the equator. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Summer Solstice 2018: What You Need to Know About the Longest Day of the Year," 21 June 2018 After a long winter when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon for more than two months, villagers cherish fresh meat. The Economist, "Whaling in Alaska," 14 June 2018 Unlike Madrid, its winters are mild and short, and unlike Barcelona its hot summers are rarely humid. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Severe Spanish Villa for Easy Outdoor Living," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After her retirement and raising their children Nancy and Herb spent many wonderful years wintering in Delray Beach Florida with special friends Nate and Elsie. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Nancy B. Coman," 11 June 2018 As for its regular feathered inhabitants, the Coastside is blessed with migratory shorebirds, an abundance of gulls, breeding warblers, wintering sparrows, and a richness of raptors. Jill K. Robinson, SFChronicle.com, "5 places to spot birds in Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 Streams of them funnel through the country’s southern tip, traveling to and from wintering grounds in Africa and nesting grounds in Europe. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Some Birds Are Better Off With Weak Immune Systems," 25 June 2018 Ocampo is a rural township about 95 miles (150 kilometers) west of Mexico City best known for the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds that occupy part of the mountainous municipality. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "2 mayoral candidates killed in Mexico, 18 dead so far," 21 June 2018 The main herds have been far away, absent here most of the winter, and these likely are survivors from stragglers that wintered farther east. Seth Kantner, Anchorage Daily News, "Moments of truth: Spring on the Kobuk," 28 Apr. 2018 From its wintering grounds in Africa, the bird flies thousands of miles north to Europe to lay eggs in time for the emergence of winter moth caterpillars, which appear for a few weeks each spring to munch on young oak leaves. New York Times, "5 Plants and Animals Utterly Confused by Climate Change," 4 Apr. 2018 Until recently, eagles at the Mystic Lakes were primarily wintering birds from up North, said Roberts, but in the last few years increasing numbers are staying throughout the year. Don Lyman, BostonGlobe.com, "There’s a celebration at the Mystic Lakes. The eagles are here.," 26 Apr. 2018 The hot toddy is to winter what the bourbon smash is to warmer months. Liza Weisstuch, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s time to Smash N’ Dash," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Winter visitors can catch a glimpse of the refuge’s migrating tundra swans. Danielle Ohl, baltimoresun.com, "Weekend adventure: A visitor's guide to Rock Hall and its old-school, waterfront charms," 3 Aug. 2017 Gigi appears in Stuart Weitzman's Fall/Winter 2017 campaign in the sleekest boots (including The Cling Bootie), bright pink blush, and a Shay Ashual wig that totally fooled us at first glance. Sarah Wu, Allure, "Gigi Hadid Debuts Short Hair for Stuart Weitzman Campaign," 12 July 2017 Gigi appeared in Stuart Weitzman's Fall/Winter 2017 campaign in the sleekest boots (including The Cling Bootie), bright pink blush, and a Shay Ashual wig that totally fooled us at first glance. Sarah Wu, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Debuts Short Hair for Stuart Weitzman Campaign," 12 July 2017 In The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes is turned into a weapon with no agency of his own. Jenna Pearl, Marie Claire, "9 Hidden Feminist Messages in the Marvel Cinematic Universe," 5 June 2017 Winter Carnival events for Feb. 3 and 4 will be announced later. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Eyeing Super Bowl, St. Paul supersizes Winter Carnival to 17 days," 25 May 2017 Winter wheat and barley now lag about a week in development, compared to the last several years, according to Liza Malyshko, an analyst at UkrAgroConsult in Kiev. Anatoly Medetsky, Bloomberg.com, "Chilly Weather Risks Delaying Black Sea Wheat, Barley Harvest," 23 May 2017 Winter color is maroon, with red tones across the green leaves in summer. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Plan(t) on these top 10 best groundcover choices," 16 May 2017 Winter storm warnings are even posted in Northeastern Washington. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "Storm rejects springtime, dumps snow in Pacific Northwest," 16 May 2017

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

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Adjective

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

History and Etymology for winter

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wintar winter and perhaps to Lithuanian vanduo water, Old English wæter — more at water

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Learn More about winter

Phrases Related to winter

dead of winter

the depth of winter

winter sport

Statistics for winter

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for winter

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

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More Definitions for winter

winter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of winter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the coldest season of the year that is after autumn and before spring

winter

verb

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

: to spend the winter in a particular place

: to care for or manage (animals) during the winter

winter

noun
win·ter | \ ˈwin-tər \

Kids Definition of winter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the season between autumn and spring (as from December to March in the northern half of the earth)

2 : one of the years of a person's life a person of seventy winters

winter

verb
wintered; wintering

Kids Definition of winter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to pass the winter We wintered in Florida.

2 : to keep, feed, or manage during the winter The farmer winters livestock on silage.

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Comments on winter

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