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Definition: season from Collins English Dictionary


1 one of the four equal periods into which the year is divided by the equinoxes and solstices, resulting from the apparent movement of the sun north and south of the equator during the course of the earth's orbit around it. These periods (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) have their characteristic weather conditions in different regions, and occur at opposite times of the year in the N and S hemispheres

2 a period of the year characterized by particular conditions or activities: the rainy season

3 the period during which any particular species of animal, bird, or fish is legally permitted to be caught or killed: open season on red deer

4 a period during which a particular entertainment, sport, etc, takes place: a season at the National Theatre; the football season the tourist season

5 (esp formerly) a period of fashionable social events in a particular place: the London season

6 any definite or indefinite period

7 any of the major periods into which the ecclesiastical calendar is divided, such as Lent, Advent, or Easter

8 (sometimes capital) Christmas (esp in the phrases compliments of the season, Season's greetings)

9 a period or time that is considered proper, suitable, or natural for something

10 in good season early enough 11 in season a (of game) permitted to be caught or killed b (of fresh food) readily available c Also: in heat or on heat (of some female mammals) sexually receptive d appropriate ▷vb

12 (tr) to add herbs, salt, pepper, or spice to (food)

13 (tr) to add zest to

14 (in the preparation of timber) to undergo or cause to undergo drying

15 (tr; usually passive) to make or become mature or experienced: seasoned troops

16 (tr) to mitigate or temper: to season one's admiration with reticence

[C13: from Old French seson, from Latin satiō a sowing, from serere to sow]

› ˈseasoned adj

› ˈseasoner n

› ˈseasonless adj

Summary Article: seasons
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

divisions of the year characterized by variations in the relative lengths of day and night and in the amount of heat received from the sun. These variations depend on the inclination of the equator to the plane of the ecliptic and on the revolution of the earth around the sun. The amount of heat received at a given point on the earth's surface depends chiefly on the angle at which the sun's rays strike the earth at that point and on the daily duration there of exposure to the sun's rays; the more vertical the rays and the longer the exposure, the more heat will be received. Seasonal change varies greatly with latitude. Near the equator there is little change; in high latitudes spring and autumn are very short. In the temperate zones there are four well-defined seasons; in the north temperate zone, spring begins about Mar. 21, the vernal equinox; summer, about June 22, the summer solstice; autumn, about Sept. 23, the fall equinox; and winter, about Dec. 22, the winter solstice. However, the weather lags somewhat behind the seasons because, at the time of maximum sunlight (summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere) the ground is still too cold to radiate as much heat as it receives, so average temperatures usually continue to rise for several weeks until a balance is reached between reception and radiation of heat. In low latitudes and in certain other areas (e.g., India) where oceans and winds are the chief factors governing seasonal changes, the terms “wet season” and “dry season” are used. The seasons play an important part in mythology and folklore; many holidays are connected with the changes of season.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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