- the season between summer and winter; fall. In the Northern Hemisphere it is from the September equinox to the December solstice; in the Southern Hemisphere it is from the March equinox to the June solstice.
- a time of full maturity, especially the late stages of full maturity or, sometimes, the early stages of decline: to be in the autumn of one's life.
Origin of autumn
Examples from the Web for autumn
One afternoon we were watching Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata.
From the first shots of Autumn Sonata it's clear that this is going to be slow going.
Standing in the chill breeze of autumn, I knew something had passed between us.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
The summer heat is fleeting, and the crisp golden brown of autumn lingers just a little bit longer than it should.Jason Schwartzman Is the Nicest Jerk You’ll Ever Meet in ‘Listen Up Philip’
October 17, 2014
Another summer has passed, and with its passing the rites of autumn have begun.The Doctor’s Note Must Die!
September 16, 2014
I'd been figurin' and schemin' all autumn how to get my traps before the winter comes on.Way of the Lawless
Not a breeze can stir but it thrills us with the breath of autumn.The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
The son of Monseigneur will in the autumn marry Mademoiselle de Voincourt.The Dream
From week to week it was put off till the autumn was far advanced.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Thus the Summer and Autumn passed away, and a cold Winter had come.What Sami Sings with the Birds
- (sometimes capital)
- Also called (esp US): fallthe season of the year between summer and winter, astronomically from the September equinox to the December solstice in the N hemisphere and from the March equinox to the June solstice in the S hemisphere
- (as modifier)autumn leaves
- a period of late maturity, esp one followed by a decline
Word Origin and History for autumn
late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus "increase"), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Etruscan, but Tucker suggests a meaning "drying-up season" and a root in *auq- (which would suggest the form in -c- was the original) and compares archaic English sere-month "August."
Harvest was the English name for the season until autumn began to displace it 16c. In Britain, the season is popularly August through October; in U.S., September through November. Cf. Italian autunno, Spanish otoño, Portuguese outono, all from the Latin word. Unlike the other three seasons, its names across the Indo-European languages leave no evidence that there ever was a common word for it.
Many "autumn" words mean "end, end of summer," or "harvest." Cf. also Lithuanian ruduo "autumn," from rudas "reddish," in reference to leaves; Old Irish fogamar, literally "under-winter."