One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A period of unusually dry, warm weather occurring in late autumn.
- ‘We're having an Indian summer - it's five degrees warmer than it should be at the moment - and everyone's got whacking great huge colds.’
- ‘With an Indian summer (a late warm spell), the ice lost its beauty.’
- ‘This was an ideal and rare opportunity to see a traditional canvas currach in use and the Indian summer weather ensured ideal conditions for oarsmen and onlookers.’
- ‘Until recently, there was even a bit of an Indian summer: great weather for photos, some of which I hope to get up soon.’
- ‘They had had enough of hot and muggy Indian summers.’
- ‘The Indian summer created such beautiful nights.’
- ‘Water suppliers now have the rather unhappy job of looking forward to a break in the Indian summer so the ‘big fill’ of autumn and winter will begin.’
- ‘Well organised big fires and back-garden stacks of wood - unusually dry owing to the Indian summer - were soon lighting up the sky, the flames being fanned in the light breeze.’
- ‘Soon it was time to climb up the large stone steps, warm from the Indian summer sunlight and less intimidating now that Elise knew what lay within the labyrinthine caverns.’
- ‘With temperatures in the mid 60s, I couldn't resist the urge to take advantage of this Indian summer weather and go out and play some golf.’
- ‘It is never too hot, or too cold and the Indian summer has been perfect.’
- ‘How one day she stood outside amid the fallen leaves, enjoying an Indian summer in the midst of autumn, contemplating how peaceful life can be.’
- ‘Even though it was early October, the town was in an Indian summer heat wave, which caused the department to have the air conditioner on.’
- ‘In Indian summers, when the weather is still good enough to sit out, it's great to have some pots on your patio full of plants with rich, warm colours.’
- ‘Beautifully textured, sensuous and skin-friendly, it is cool in torrid Indian summers and keeps one warm in winter.’
- ‘A classic Indian summer brings clear skies and warm daytime temperatures and chilly nights - perfect for producing stunning fall leaf colours.’
- ‘If we suddenly get an Indian summer or a rash of beautifully sunny autumnal mornings, people are taken by surprise.’
- ‘Not just the internal temperature, crisp as the weather had changed overnight from Indian summer to autumn, but the silence was frigid.’
- ‘The mystic color of amber has flowed over the late autumn fields in the calm sunshine of an Indian summer.’
- ‘He said: ‘I knew it would be an Indian summer because there has been the classic weather pattern of a warm autumn.’’
- 1.1 A period of happiness or success occurring late in life.
- ‘A few major composers have had Indian summers - Verdi and Haydn wrote masterpieces in their 70s and 80s - but Carter's tenth decade of creativity is unprecedented in the history of music.’
- ‘If these volumes, put together when Monteverdi was over 70, seemed to mark the end of his composing life, chance played a part in inspiring him to an Indian summer of astonishing productivity.’
- ‘His recent demise has created an almost unprecedented interest in his previous recordings after a late Indian summer that saw so many fine discs of the central German repertoire.’
- ‘The years 1600-20 were the Indian summer of the commercial and industrial system established in the sixteenth century, when many industries and trades reached peak levels of activity.’
- ‘But signs of decay were increasingly apparent and the extravagance of the Edwardian period had all the hallmarks of an Indian summer.’
- ‘For 14 years, Holl accompanied Fischer-Dieskau in what many see now as an Indian summer of Fischer-Dieskau's long career.’
- ‘He, for his part, is enjoying an Indian summer at the end of a career that has often been a struggle.’
- ‘But, after two years in the wilderness, he has got the chance to re-establish himself and enhance his long career with an Indian summer.’
- ‘Her 17 year marriage to my father had been conducted in an almost constant state of war, but her short marriage to James had been like an Indian summer of happiness for her.’
- ‘But in the last 10 years he's been proving all his critics wrong with a glorious Indian summer of popularity, idolised by a new generation of young fans.’
Late 18th century: with reference to North American Indians, rather than to the country of India, and first used in connection with the northern US and Canada. The expression may echo the use of Indian in compounds such as Indian corn, where it denotes a different, American form of something familiar, or it could have arisen from the fact that the region in which the phenomenon was noticed was still primarily occupied by indigenous people.
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