Definition of sun dog in US English:

sun dog

(also sundog)


  • another term for parhelion
    • ‘Meteorologically these phenomena are related to sun dogs.’
    • ‘This extension of the sun dogs is reflection from the vertical sides of the flat hexagonal ice crystals.’
    • ‘A sun dog is refracted sunlight through ice crystals aloft which creates little bright spots close to the sun's orb.’
    • ‘Mock suns, or sun dogs as they are also known, appear as bright spots on either side of the Sun.’
    • ‘We see sun dogs fairly often but more often in winter than summer.’
    • ‘As the sun rose higher, the sun dogs were as almost as bright as the sun itself.’
    • ‘It is even creating optical effects, such as a sun dog and a long shadow in a line.’
    • ‘Pillars, halos and sun dogs all serve to liven up the often colorless Alaska winter world.’
    • ‘Crystal misalignment from true horizontal will spread the sun dog vertically - its angular height being approximately four times the maximum crystal angular tilt.’
    • ‘So clouds are needed to see sun dogs, but the clouds have to be of the high altitude, thin, wisplike strands/white veil kind.’
    • ‘Sometimes ‘sun dogs’ appear as the halo broadens to two bright points on each side of the sun.’
    • ‘December's cold weather gives Michigan skywatchers an opportunity to see sun dogs, light pillars and halos around the sun and moon.’
    • ‘Also called mock suns or false suns, sun dogs form when incoming sunlight is refracted through suspended ice crystals in the atmosphere, creating the image of two brilliant spots on either side of the sun.’
    • ‘At the same time, the sun provided its own magic, with a bright sun dog along with a segment of the 22-degree solar halo visible far above Adams.’


sun dog

/ˈsən ˌdôɡ/