Definition of sunset in US English:



  • 1The time in the evening when the sun disappears or daylight fades.

    ‘sunset was still a couple of hours away’
    • ‘Last year I performed during Ramadan, an Islamic month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset to cleanse the system and restore inner energy.’
    • ‘The streets of La Paz are today filled from sunrise to sunset with traders selling anything from razor blades to fast food.’
    • ‘For example, Memphis law states that begging after sunset and before sunrise is a misdemeanor.’
    • ‘The event begins at sunset and ends at midnight on scheduled nights throughout the year.’
    • ‘Bats can be observed emerging from their lair every evening at sunset between mid-March and November.’
    • ‘At sunset they make their nightly exodus for a dinner of 30,000 pounds of insects in East Texas.’
    • ‘Working for about five hours from sunset to sunrise, he opens an area in the 6-foot diameter of a spotlit circle.’
    • ‘Like it is with all deserts, the best times of the day in the Great Basin are sunrise and sunset.’
    • ‘Depending on the context, the day was considered to begin at either midnight, at noon, at sunset, or at sunrise.’
    • ‘I weeded with a hoe and shook bugs off plants with my hands from sunrise to sunset.’
    • ‘Winter also had the mixed blessings of dark mornings and early sunsets.’
    • ‘Many scenes were shot in the golden light just after sunrise or before sunset.’
    • ‘Mars' rise is very close to sunset / nightfall and its zenith will be just after midnight.’
    nightfall, close of day, twilight, dusk, evening, half-light
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The colors and light visible in the sky on an occasion of the sun's disappearance in the evening, considered as a view or spectacle.
      ‘a blue and gold sunset’
      • ‘The night starts like any other night, in the way that there is a sunset, and it gets dark.’
      • ‘He timed much of his shooting to gain maximum impact from sunrises or sunsets.’
      • ‘The Mediterranean weather, beautiful sunsets viewed from the Naples Pier, beach combing, fine dining and world-class art make Naples an art destination adventure.’
      • ‘Here, the international public gathered for a happy hour on the beach every evening to enjoy the sunset accompanied by hot rhythms and cold drinks.’
      • ‘He specialized in moonlit and winter scenes, usually including a sheet of water and sometimes also involving the light of a fire, and he also painted sunsets and views at dawn or twilight.’
      • ‘Crisp autumn weather, gorgeous sunsets, star-filled skies, and dramatic lighting will make you want to stay.’
      • ‘At the top, an ocher and purple sunset fades to a deep blue sky in which four phases of the moon are visible.’
      • ‘They will stop on the highest sand dune to view the sunset, and continue the journey to the Bedouin campsite in the heart of the desert.’
      • ‘Later that evening we watch a magnificent sunset up at the lighthouse.’
      • ‘Imagine a scene: its evening, a sunset, and the sun slowly comes down closer to the edge of the mountain.’
      • ‘After walking a little I sat on a bench, and there was a staggering sunset on that evening.’
      • ‘The fresh pine scent, sherbet sunsets, and the fireflies brightening the August nights.’
      • ‘Sunrise or sunset against multi-coloured layers of rock, which form spectacular cliffs and pinnacles, must be experienced.’
      • ‘There have been some brilliant blood coloured sunsets that have lasted for hours.’
      • ‘Chinese dust even caused hazy sunsets around the western United States for several days in April 2000.’
      • ‘The day ends with a visit to Phnom Bakheng, where they will climb to the summit for a spectacular sunset view over the surrounding landscape.’
      • ‘As a nation, however, we are so accustomed to a plentiful supply that we are unconscious of what the disappearance of wild places would mean, just as we are unconscious of what the disappearance of winds or sunsets would mean.’
      • ‘In Texas, in the middle of nowhere, the sunsets were amazing.’
      • ‘Conscious through close observation of nature of changing patterns in the landscape, especially at sunrise and sunset, he found a beauty that was atmospheric and objectively perceived as well as poetic and idealized.’
      • ‘There's a standard in ambience that one expects when retreating to the Caribbean: azure waters, powdery white sands, fanning palm trees, romantic sunsets, and inspiring views of it all at every turn.’
    2. 1.2 A period of decline, especially the last years of a person's life.
      ‘the sunset of his life’
      • ‘His life encompassed the high noon and early sunset of Britain's world power.’
      • ‘Two years earlier I had had my first glimpse of another great dance diva in her sunset years - the 60-year-old Martha Graham.’
      • ‘Those who believe that the technology is fading into the sunset have not done their homework.’
      • ‘Indeed, many older Argentines now believe they'll have to toil on into their sunset years.’
      • ‘It's more than likely that coverage of this deal will disappear into the sunset, which is a shame as the lessons learnt here would be useful to many others who should have looked before they leapt.’
      • ‘They do not pay social security taxes and thus will not be able to draw a pension when they reach their sunset years.’
      • ‘I will retract my tuition forthwith and find a profession more suited to the quiet dignity of my sunset years.’


North American
  • Denoting a legal provision under which a program, agency, regulation, etc., is automatically terminated at the end of a fixed period unless renewed by legislative action.

    ‘the bill will have a two-year sunset clause, so the decision will need to be revisited after the next election’
    ‘the fiscal stimulus is temporary, with sunset provisions built in from the beginning’


[no object]North American
  • 1(of a program, agency, regulation, etc.) expire or be terminated automatically at the end of a fixed period unless renewed by legislative action.

    ‘the tax cut will sunset after three years unless lawmakers extend it’
    1. 1.1with object Subject (a program, agency, regulation, etc.) to a legal provision under which it is terminated automatically at the end of a fixed period unless renewed by legislative action.
      ‘the commerce secretary has put forward a proposal to sunset the trade agreement every five years’
    2. 1.2with object Discontinue or terminate (a product or service)
      ‘the wireless service providers that operate these networks are sunsetting them’
      ‘the app will be sunsetted’