[ win-ter ]
See synonyms for winter on
  1. the cold season between autumn and spring in northern latitudes (in the Northern Hemisphere from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox; in the Southern Hemisphere from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox).

  2. the months of December, January, and February in the U.S., and of November, December, and January in Great Britain.

  1. cold weather: a touch of winter in northern Florida.

  2. the colder half of the year (opposed to summer).

  3. a whole year as represented by this season: a man of sixty winters.

  4. a period like winter, as the last or final period of life; a period of decline, decay, inertia, dreariness, or adversity.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of winter: a winter sunset.

  2. (of fruit and vegetables) of a kind that may be kept for use during the winter.

  1. planted in the autumn to be harvested in the spring or early summer: winter rye.

verb (used without object)
  1. to spend or pass the winter: to winter in Italy.

  2. to keep, feed, or manage during the winter, as plants or cattle: plants wintering indoors.

Origin of winter

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Winter,Old Norse vetr,Gothic wintrus; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun; akin to wet, water

Other words from winter

  • win·ter·er, noun
  • win·ter·ish, adjective
  • win·ter·ish·ly, adverb
  • win·ter·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use winter in a sentence

  • Wild, Harrison and Hoadley went to examine the shelf-ice with a view to its suitability for a wintering station.

    The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
  • We were soon at the Hut where I found that full preparations had been made for wintering a second year.

    The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
  • Shortly the tribe moved away to its wintering-grounds, the young couple following after.

    The Way of an Indian | Frederic Remington
  • This winter, High Head, with his little band of eleven men, was wintering at the old place.

  • This was once a great wintering place for deer and elk, and, higher up, for bighorn.

British Dictionary definitions for winter


/ (ˈwɪntə) /

    • (sometimes capital) the coldest season of the year, between autumn and spring, astronomically from the December solstice to the March equinox in the N hemisphere and at the opposite time of year in the S hemisphere

    • (as modifier): winter pasture

  1. the period of cold weather associated with the winter

  1. a time of decline, decay, etc

  2. mainly poetic a year represented by this season: a man of 72 winters Related adjectives: brumal, hibernal, hiemal

  1. (intr) to spend the winter in a specified place

  2. to keep or feed (farm animals, etc) during the winter or (of farm animals) to be kept or fed during the winter

Origin of winter

Old English; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wintar, Old Norse vetr, Gothic wintrus

Derived forms of winter

  • winterer, noun
  • winterish or winter-like, adjective
  • winterless, 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