[ suhm-er ]
See synonyms for summer on
  1. the season between spring and autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox, and in the Southern Hemisphere from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox.

  2. the period comprising the months of June, July, and August in the United States, and from the middle of May to the middle of August in Great Britain.

  1. a period of hot, usually sunny weather: We had no real summer last year.

  2. the hotter half of the year (opposed to winter): They spend the summers in New Hampshire and the winters in Florida.

  3. the period of finest development, perfection, or beauty previous to any decline: the summer of life.

  4. a whole year as represented by this season: a girl of fifteen summers.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of summer: Iced tea is a summer drink.

  2. appropriate for or done during the summer:summer clothes;summer sports.

  1. having the weather or warmth of summer: summer days in late October.

verb (used without object)
  1. to spend or pass the summer: They summered in Maine.

verb (used with object)
  1. to keep, feed, or manage during the summer: Sheep are summered in high pastures.

  2. to make summerlike.

Origin of summer

First recorded before 900; Middle English somer, Old English sumor; cognate with Dutch zomer, German Sommer, Old Norse sumar “summer”; akin to Sanskrit sámā “season, half-year, year,” Old Irish sam-, Old Welsh ham, Welsh haf “summer”

Other words from summer

  • sum·mer·less, adjective

Other definitions for summer (2 of 2)

[ suhm-er ]

  1. a principal beam or girder, as one running between girts to support joists.

  2. a stone laid upon a pier, column, or wall, from which one or more arches spring: usually molded or otherwise treated like the arch or arches springing from it.

  1. a beam or lintel.

Origin of summer

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English somer, from Anglo-French; Old French somier “packhorse, beam,” from unattested Vulgar Latin saumārius, equivalent to Latin sagm(a) “packsaddle” (from Greek ságma ) + -ārius noun suffix; see -ary, -er2
  • Also Obsolete, som·er [suhm-er] /ˈsʌm ər/ (for def. 1) . Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use summer in a sentence

  • They may thus winter from five to twenty-five miles from where they summered, from one thousand to several thousand feet lower.

    Watched by Wild Animals | Enos A. Mills
  • The cattle that had summered in the hafod (the mountain byre) were returning to the hendre (the winter home).

    Pabo, The Priest | Sabine Baring-Gould
  • September days are heralded by the return of the birds who have summered in Canada.

  • "Grit was sent him for a present by a man who summered at the ranch an' heerd Samson say he wanted a dawg," said the girl.

    Rimrock Trail | J. Allan Dunn

British Dictionary definitions for summer (1 of 2)


/ (ˈsʌmə) /

  1. (sometimes capital)

    • the warmest season of the year, between spring and autumn, astronomically from the June solstice to the September equinox in the N hemisphere and at the opposite time of year in the S hemisphere

    • (as modifier): summer flowers; a summer dress Related adjective: aestival

  2. the period of hot weather associated with the summer

  1. a time of blossoming, greatest happiness, etc

  2. mainly poetic a year represented by this season: a child of nine summers

  1. (intr) to spend the summer (at a place)

  2. (tr) to keep or feed (farm animals) during the summer: they summered their cattle on the mountain slopes

Origin of summer

Old English sumor; related to Old Frisian sumur, Old Norse sumar, Old High German sumar, Sanskrit samā season

Derived forms of summer

  • summerless, adjective
  • summer-like, adjective
  • summerly, adjective, adverb
  • summery, adjective
  • summeriness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for summer (2 of 2)


/ (ˈsʌmə) /

  1. Also called: summer tree a large horizontal beam or girder, esp one that supports floor joists

  2. another name for lintel

  1. a stone on the top of a column, pier, or wall that supports an arch or lintel

Origin of summer

C14: from Anglo-Norman somer, from Old French somier beam, packhorse, from Late Latin sagmārius (equus) pack(horse), from sagma a packsaddle, from Greek

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