Dictionary.com

dog days

Save This Word!

plural noun
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.
QUIZ
CUDDLE UP! A COZY QUIZ ON FALL WORDS HAS ARRIVED
If autumn is your ideal season, spice up your repertoire of "fall" vocabulary with this quiz on some warm and vivid descriptive words for the season.
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to make a crackling sound; crackle”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of dog days

1530–40; translation of Latin diēs caniculārēs;see canicular

OTHER WORDS FROM dog days

dog-day, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use dog days in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dog days

dog days

pl n
the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
a period marked by inactivity

Word Origin for dog days

C16: translation of Late Latin diēs caniculārēs, translation of Greek hēmerai kunades
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

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

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.
FEEDBACK