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autumn

[aw-tuh m]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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Origin of autumn

1325–75; < Latin autumnus; replacing Middle English autumpne < Middle French autompne < Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

harvest, fall

Examples from the Web for autumn

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British Dictionary definitions for autumn

autumn

noun
  1. (sometimes capital)
    1. 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
    2. (as modifier)autumn leaves
  2. a period of late maturity, esp one followed by a decline
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin autumnus, perhaps of Etruscan origin
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

Word Origin and History for autumn

n.

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper