Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[suhn-spot] /ˈsʌnˌspɒt/
one of the relatively dark patches that appear periodically on the surface of the sun and affect terrestrial magnetism and certain other terrestrial phenomena.
Origin of sunspot
First recorded in 1805-15; sun + spot
Related forms
sunspotted, adjective
sunspottedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sunspot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A sunspot is a region on the Sun that is cooler than its surroundings.

    Disturbing Sun Robert Shirley Richardson
  • Also the present sunspot cycle started its rise to maximum about 1954.

    Disturbing Sun Robert Shirley Richardson
  • Because the average period of solar rotation in the sunspot zone is not twenty-seven days but twenty-seven point three days.

    Disturbing Sun Robert Shirley Richardson
  • They are connected in this way: that sunspot activity and S-Region activity certainly go together.

    Disturbing Sun Robert Shirley Richardson
  • sunspot activity continues at a high level and is steadily mounting in violence.

    Disturbing Sun Robert Shirley Richardson
  • At a time when spots are few and small, known as the sunspot minimum, they begin to be seen in fairly high latitudes.

    The Science of the Stars E. Walter Maunder
  • They would not be strictly accurate, because a sunspot could knock all meaning out of any reading beyond two decimal places.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • When the sunspot reached the center of the lake, the boys hove to, stripped down to their trunks, and dived overboard.

  • The mammoth wave swept up the sunspot and heeled it far over into the trough like a toy bark.

British Dictionary definitions for sunspot


any of the dark cool patches, with a diameter of up to several thousand kilometres, that appear on the surface of the sun and last about a week. They occur in approximately 11-year cycles and possess a strong magnetic field
(informal) a sunny holiday resort
(Austral) a small cancerous spot produced by overexposure to the sun
Derived Forms
sunspotted, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sunspot

1868, in astronomy, from sun (n.) + spot (n.). Earlier "a spot on the skin caused by exposure to the sun" (1818).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
sunspot in Science
Any of the dark, irregular spots that usually appear in groups on the surface of the Sun (its photosphere), lasting from a few days to several weeks or more. Sunspots appear dark because they are cooler, by up to 1,500°K, than the surrounding photosphere. They are associated with strong magnetic fields and solar magnetic storms moving in a vortex pattern, similar to a tornado on Earth. The number of sunspots waxes and wanes over an 11-year period; at maximum activity there are often increased numbers of solar flares.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for sunspot

Word Value for sunspot

Scrabble Words With Friends