the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11.
a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
- dog-day, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use dog days in a sentence
This grove, dismal in winter and awful at night, was deliciously cool and sombre in the dog-days.
As for the evening-party, if a crowd in the dog-days is pleasant, poor Mrs. Timmins certainly had a successful soiree.A Little Dinner at Timmins's | William Makepeace Thackeray
The climate proved more destructive than the service; for this was during the lion sun, as they call our season of the dog-days.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson | Robert Southey
As the dog-days drew on, a change came, though at first a very gentle one to her, if not to me.
Written by one that dares call a dog a dog, and made to prevent Martin's dog-days.A History of English Literature | George Saintsbury
British Dictionary definitions for dog days
the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
a period marked by inactivity
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
Cultural definitions for dog days
The hot, muggy days of summer. The Romans associated such weather with the influence of Sirius, the dog star, which is high in the sky during summer days.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with dog days
Hot, sultry summer weather; also, a period of stagnation. For example, It's hard to get much work done during the dog days, or Every winter there's a week or two of dog days when sales drop dramatically. The term alludes to the period between early July and early September, when Sirius, the so-called Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun. The ancient Romans called this phenomenon dies caniculares, which was translated as “dog days” in the first half of the 1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.