Word of the Day : July 2, 2018


adjective kuh-NIK-yuh-ler


: of or relating to the period between early July and early September when hot weather occurs in the northern hemisphere

Did You Know?

The Latin word canicula, meaning "small dog," is the diminutive form of canis, source of the English word canine. Canicula was also the name for Sirius, the star that represents the hound of the hunter Orion in the constellation named for that Roman mythological figure. Because the first visible rising of Sirius occurs during the summer, the hot sultry days that occur from early July to early September came to be called dies caniculares, or as we know them in English, "the dog days."


On weekend days in the canicular season, the wait at the town's only ice cream shop was often 20 people deep.

"Maggie had from her window, seen her stepmother leave the house—at so unlikely an hour, three o'clock of a canicular August…. It was the hottest day of the season…." — Henry James, The Golden Bowl, 1904

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word that refers to the canine tooth (the pointed one): c _ s _ i _.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!