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[see-zuh n] /ˈsi zən/

one of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.
a period of the year characterized by particular conditions of weather, temperature, etc.:
the rainy season.
a period of the year when something is best or available:
the oyster season.
a period of the year marked by certain conditions, activities, etc.:
baseball season.
a period of the year immediately before and after a special holiday or occasion:
the Christmas season.

any period or time:
in the season of my youth.
a suitable, proper, fitting, or right time:
This is not the season for frivolity.
verb (used with object)
to heighten or improve the flavor of (food) by adding condiments, spices, herbs, or the like.
to give relish or a certain character to:
conversation seasoned with wit.
to mature, ripen, or condition by exposure to suitable conditions or treatment:
a writer seasoned by experience.
to dry or otherwise treat (lumber) so as to harden and render immune to shrinkage, warpage, etc.
to accustom or harden:
troops seasoned by battle.
verb (used without object)
to become seasoned, matured, hardened, or the like.
for a season, for a time, especially a short time:
He lived in Paris for a season.
in good season, in enough time; sufficiently early:
Applicants will be notified of our decision in good season.
in season,

in season and out of season, regardless of time or season; at all times:
Misfortunes plague this family in season and out of season.
out of season, not in season:
The price is so high because lilacs are out of season now.
one of the four equal periods into which the year is divided by the equinoxes and solstices, resulting from the apparent movement of the sun north and south of the equator during the course of the earth’s orbit around it. These periods (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) have their characteristic weather conditions in different regions, and occur at opposite times of the year in the N and S hemispheres
a period of the year characterized by particular conditions or activities: the rainy season
the period during which any particular species of animal, bird, or fish is legally permitted to be caught or killed: open season on red deer
a period during which a particular entertainment, sport, etc, takes place: a season at the National Theatre, the football season, the tourist season
(esp formerly) a period of fashionable social events in a particular place: the London season
any definite or indefinite period
any of the major periods into which the ecclesiastical calendar is divided, such as Lent, Advent, or Easter
(sometimes capital) Christmas (esp in the phrases compliments of the season, Season’s greetings)
a period or time that is considered proper, suitable, or natural for something
in good season, early enough
in season

(transitive) to add herbs, salt, pepper, or spice to (food)
(transitive) to add zest to
(in the preparation of timber) to undergo or cause to undergo drying
(transitive; usually passive) to make or become mature or experienced: seasoned troops
(transitive) to mitigate or temper: to season one’s admiration with reticence

c.1300, “a period of the year,” with reference to weather or work, also “proper time, suitable occasion,” from Old French seison, saison “season, date; right moment, appropriate time” (Modern French saison) “a sowing, planting,” from Latin sationem (nominative satio) “a sowing, planting,” noun of action from past participle stem of serere “to sow” (see sow (v.)).

Sense shifted in Vulgar Latin from “act of sowing” to “time of sowing,” especially “spring, regarded as the chief sowing season.” In Old Provençal and Old French (and thus in English), this was extended to “season” in general. In other Indo-European languages, generic “season” (of the year) words typically are from words for “time,” sometimes with a word for “year” (e.g. Latin tempus (anni), German Jahrzeit). Of game (e.g. out of season) from late 14c. Spanish estacion, Italian stagione are unrelated, being from Latin statio “station.”

Meaning “time of year during which a place is most frequented” is from 1705. Season ticket is attested from 1820.

“improve the flavor of by adding spices,” c.1300, from Old French assaisoner “to ripen, season,” from a- “to” (see ad-) + root of season (n.) on the notion of fruit becoming more palatable as it ripens. Applied to timber by 1540s. In 16c., it also meant “to copulate with.”

Related Terms

silly season


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