Y·vor [ahy-vawr] /ˈaɪ vɔr/, 1900–68, U.S. poet and critic.




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).
the months of December, January, and February in the U.S., and of November, December, and January in Great Britain.
cold weather: a touch of winter in northern Florida.
the colder half of the year (opposed to summer).
a whole year as represented by this season: a man of sixty winters.
a period like winter, as the last or final period of life; a period of decline, decay, inertia, dreariness, or adversity.


of, relating to, or characteristic of winter: a winter sunset.
(of fruit and vegetables) of a kind that may be kept for use during the winter.
planted in the autumn to be harvested in the spring or early summer: winter rye.

verb (used without object)

to spend or pass the winter: to winter in Italy.
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
Related formswin·ter·er, nounwin·ter·ish, adjectivewin·ter·ish·ly, adverbwin·ter·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for winters

cold, frost, chill, wintertime, wintertide

Examples from the Web for winters

Contemporary Examples of winters

Historical Examples of winters

  • But Uncle Peter had already put in some hard winters, and was not wanting in fortitude.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Rico was almost nine years old, and had been to school for two winters.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • It was his courage and perseverance in remaining four whole winters among the ice.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Look for all the world just as I done when I had the tonsils two winters ago.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The summers and winters came and went and Mary-'Gusta's birthdays came and went with them.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for winters



  1. (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
  2. (as modifier)winter pasture
the period of cold weather associated with the winter
a time of decline, decay, etc
mainly poetic a year represented by this seasona man of 72 winters Related adjectives: brumal, hibernal, hiemal


(intr) to spend the winter in a specified place
to keep or feed (farm animals, etc) during the winter or (of farm animals) to be kept or fed during the winter
Derived Formswinterer, nounwinterish or winter-like, adjectivewinterless, adjective

Word Origin for winter

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



Old English, "fourth season of the year," from Proto-Germanic *wentruz (cf. Old Frisian, Dutch winter, Old Saxon, Old High German wintar, German winter, Danish and Swedish vinter, Gothic wintrus, Old Norse vetr "winter"), possibly from PIE *wed-/*wod-/*ud- "wet" (see water), or from *wind- "white" (cf. Celtic vindo- "white").

The Anglo-Saxons counted years in "winters," cf. Old English ænetre "one-year-old." Old Norse Vetrardag, first day of winter, was the Saturday that fell between Oct. 10 and 16.



"to pass the winter (in some place)," late 14c., from winter (n.). Related: Wintered; wintering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper