Definition: Winter

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English winter, from Old English winter, from Proto-Germanic *wintruz (winter). Cognate with West Frisian winter (winter), Dutch winter (winter), German Winter (winter), Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian vinter (winter), Icelandic vetur (winter).


winter (countable and uncountable, plural winters)

  1. Traditionally the fourth of the four seasons, typically regarded as being from December to February in continental regions of the Northern Hemisphere or the months of June, July, and August in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the time when the sun is lowest in the sky, resulting in short days, and the time of year with the lowest atmospheric temperatures for the region.
  2. (fashion) Someone with dark skin, eyes and hair, seen as best suited to certain colors of clothing.

Usage notes

Note that season names are not capitalized in modern English except where any noun would be capitalized, e.g. at the beginning of a sentence or as part of a name (Old Man Winter, the Winter War, Summer Glau). This is in contrast to the days of the week and months of the year, which are always capitalized (Thursday or September).

Derived terms

  • bewinter
  • early-winter
  • late-winter
  • midwinter
  • wintered
  • winter-flower
  • winter-house
  • winterize
  • winterless
  • wintertime

Related terms

  • Father Winter
  • Old Man Winter
  • winter break
  • winter coat
  • winter cress
  • Winter Games
  • wintergreen
  • winter holidays
  • Winter Olympics
  • winter solstice
  • winter sport
  • winter squash
  • winter storm
  • winter tire
  • winter vacation
  • Winter War
  • winter wheat
  • winter wren
  • wintry


winter (third-person singular simple present winters, present participle wintering, simple past and past participle wintered)

  1. To spend the winter (in a particular place).
    When they retired, they hoped to winter in Florida.
  2. To store something somewhere over winter to protect it from cold.
    I figured it was time to winter our seed collection to avoid damage.

Derived terms

  • winterer
  • wintering


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