Definition of solstice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsōlstəs/
Pronunciation: /ˈsälstəs/


Either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.
Example sentences
  • The minimum length of shadow during a day is less in summer than in winter and at the solstices it changes from lengthening to shortening or visa versa.
  • Now that the solstice has passed, winter is officially upon us.
  • This first day of summer - the solstice, when the sun is at its peak - was traditionally a time of celebration for the ancient Druids.



Pronunciation: /sälˈstiSHəl/ Pronunciation: /sōlˈstiSHəl/
Example sentences
  • The Druids, whose Stonehenge temples can be seen in England, regarded mistletoe with reverence and used to burn it in sacrifice during the solstitial festivities.
  • In Egypt generally, the solstitial worship followed that of the May and equinoctial years.
  • The solstitial colure is a great circle which passes through the celestial poles and these two solstitial points.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin solstitium, from sol 'sun' + stit- 'stopped, stationary' (from the verb sistere).

  • solar from Late Middle English:

    This is from Latin solaris, from sol ‘sun’, a base shared by mid 19th-century solarium, a use of a Latin word meaning both ‘sundial’ and ‘place for sunning oneself’. From the same source comes solstice (Middle English), the second half of which comes from Latin sistere ‘to stop’; and from Italian, based on Latin, parasol from parasole, formed from para- ‘protecting against’ and sole ‘sun’. Old English sun is from the same Indo-European root.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sol·stice

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