Definition of solstice in English:



  • Either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.

    • ‘Which brings up another point: our modern calendars are quite misguided in suggesting that ‘summer begins’ on the solstice.’
    • ‘Sunlight is continuous throughout the summer, but after the solstice the sun slowly sinks to the horizon until it drops below on the autumn equinox.’
    • ‘Now that the solstice has passed, winter is officially upon us.’
    • ‘A special event being planned to celebrate the solstice on June 21 at Olympic Plaza is aiming to create the city's largest drum circle ever.’
    • ‘Officially one of the great wonders of the ancient world, Stonehenge attracts a unique twenty thousand strong crowd of hippies, pagans, witches, Druids and travellers for the solstice every year.’
    • ‘The December solstice is around Dec. 21 but can be a day or so different any year.’
    • ‘The word cardinal also refers to the four major points of the horizon and the four turning points of the year, that is, the solstices and equinoxes making the change of seasons.’
    • ‘This first day of summer - the solstice, when the sun is at its peak - was traditionally a time of celebration for the ancient Druids.’
    • ‘The week leading up to the June solstice has been chosen for the Perperikon Art Festival.’
    • ‘The Inti Raymi festival, which celebrates the June solstice, reflects the Inca's vast knowledge of astronomy.’
    • ‘The solstices and equinoxes have been celebrated for at least 50,000 years - intimately linking these celestial events to seasonal passages in the lives of people, animals and plants.’
    • ‘The solstice takes place on June 20 at 8: 57 P.M. EDT.’
    • ‘In the Julian calendar, the solstice had fallen on 6 January, but because of its inaccuracy the date ‘moved’ back to 25 December.’
    • ‘Thoughts of carefree summer days spent lounging in your bikini, your hair flowing and your skin glowing, seem within reach until the solstice nears, bringing the first hot, humid blast.’
    • ‘Heathen festivals do not follow the ‘Eight Fold Wheel of the Year’ based on solstices and equinoxes.’
    • ‘It's midsummer - a mere week from the solstice - and the weather report is talking about snow in the South Island over the weekend.’
    • ‘It also has links to detailed information explaining sunrise, sunset, the solstices and equinoxes.’
    • ‘That makes the solstice the year's longest day, and the stick's noontime shadow on that day the shortest.’
    • ‘The minimum length of shadow during a day is less in summer than in winter and at the solstices it changes from lengthening to shortening or visa versa.’
    • ‘We also decided to modify our solstice / equinox schedule in order to get the Winter issue into stores during the holiday shopping season.’


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin solstitium, from sol ‘sun’ + stit- ‘stopped, stationary’ (from the verb sistere).