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the season between summer and winter; fall. In the Northern Hemisphere it is from the September equinox to the December solstice; in the Southern Hemisphere it is from the March equinox to the June solstice.
a time of full maturity, especially the late stages of full maturity or, sometimes, the early stages of decline:
to be in the autumn of one’s life.
Contemporary Examples

Standing in the chill breeze of autumn, I knew something had passed between us.
What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear Doug Peacock November 22, 2014

You might remember Goodling as a revealing footnote in the autumn of the Bush administration.
How I Got Interrogated by the Bushies John Avlon January 14, 2009

These days, people are stacking up to see the last of autumn’s vibrant colors.
Gal With a Suitcase Jolie Hunt November 5, 2010

The quartet noticed that island activity lessened that autumn (Japan surrendered on August 15) but refused to acknowledge defeat.
The Week in Death: The Last to Surrender The Telegraph January 18, 2014

One afternoon we were watching Ingmar Bergman’s autumn Sonata.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014

Historical Examples

Mrs. Anne Hutchinson arrived in Boston from England in the autumn of 1634.
The Colonies 1492-1750 Reuben Gold Thwaites

Not a breeze can stir but it thrills us with the breath of autumn.
The Old Manse (From “Mosses From An Old Manse”) Nathaniel Hawthorne

It was a wretched autumn day on which she set out for her new home.
Margaret Capel, v. 2 of 3 Ellen Wallace

The son of Monseigneur will in the autumn marry Mademoiselle de Voincourt.
The Dream Emile Zola

All are oval and abruptly pointed, thick and firm in texture, turning yellow or russet brown in autumn.
Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers

(sometimes capital)

Also called (esp US) fall. the season of the year between summer and winter, astronomically from the September equinox to the December solstice in the N hemisphere and from the March equinox to the June solstice in the S hemisphere
(as modifier): autumn leaves

a period of late maturity, esp one followed by a decline

late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus “increase”), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Etruscan, but Tucker suggests a meaning “drying-up season” and a root in *auq- (which would suggest the form in -c- was the original) and compares archaic English sere-month “August.”

Harvest was the English name for the season until autumn began to displace it 16c. In Britain, the season is popularly August through October; in U.S., September through November. Cf. Italian autunno, Spanish otoño, Portuguese outono, all from the Latin word. Unlike the other three seasons, its names across the Indo-European languages leave no evidence that there ever was a common word for it.

Many “autumn” words mean “end, end of summer,” or “harvest.” Cf. also Lithuanian ruduo “autumn,” from rudas “reddish,” in reference to leaves; Old Irish fogamar, literally “under-winter.”


Read Also:

  • Autumn crocus

    any of several bulbous plants of the genus Colchicum, of the lily family, especially C. autumnale, bearing showy, crocuslike white, pink, or purple flowers in autumn. noun a liliaceous plant, Colchicum autumnale, of Europe and N Africa having pink or purplish autumn flowers Also called meadow saffron Compare saffron

  • Autumnal

    belonging to or suggestive of autumn; produced or gathered in autumn: autumnal colors. past maturity or middle life. Contemporary Examples The pumpkin seeds, trapped in the heat of the caramel, are imbued with an autumnal, resiny resonance. Pumpkin Seed Brittle The Daily Beast November 24, 2008 These are autumnal deaths to expiate the sins of […]

  • Autumnal equinox

    See under equinox (def 1). Also called autumnal point. the position of the sun at the time of the autumnal equinox. the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about March 21 (vernal equinox or spring equinox) […]

  • Autumnally

    belonging to or suggestive of autumn; produced or gathered in autumn: autumnal colors. past maturity or middle life. Historical Examples And, indeed, the rest of the city was most autumnally tame and uninteresting. Wise Saws and Modern Instances, Volume II (of 2) Thomas Cooper adjective of, occurring in, or characteristic of autumn adj. 1570s, from […]

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