Solstice meaning

sŏl'stĭs, sōl'-, sôl'-
The definition of solstice is the time when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point at noon, resulting in the shortest and longest days of the year.

The longest day of the year is an example of the summer solstice.

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Either of two times of the year when the sun is at its greatest angular distance from the celestial equator. The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs about June 21, when the sun is at the zenith on the Tropic of Cancer; the winter solstice occurs about December 21, when the sun is at zenith on the Tropic of Capricorn. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year; the winter solstice is the shortest.
noun
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Either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the sun's path reaches its maximum distance north or south of the celestial equator.
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Either of the two corresponding moments of the year when the Sun is directly above either the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn. The summer solstice occurs on June 20 or 21 and the winter solstice on December 21 or 22, marking the beginning of summer and winter in the Northern Hemisphere (and the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere). The days on which a solstice falls have the greatest difference of the year between the hours of daylight and darkness, with the most daylight hours at the beginning of summer and the most darkness at the beginning of winter.
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One of the two points in the ecliptic at which the sun is furthest from the celestial equator. This corresponds to one of two days in the year when the day is either longest or shortest.
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The moment or date when the sun in its apparent annual movement along the ecliptic reaches its maximum distance north or south of the celestial equator: in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the summer solstice (about June 21, marking the beginning of summer) is the time of the sun's maximum elevation and, thus, has the longest period of sunlight; the day of the winter solstice (about Dec. 21, marking the beginning of winter) is the time of the sun's minimum elevation and, thus, has the shortest period of sunlight.
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Either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun) reaches its greatest distance north or south of the celestial equator . &diamf3; The northernmost point of the Sun's path, called the summer solstice , lies on the Tropic of Cancer at 23°27' north latitude. &diamf3; The southernmost point of the Sun's path, called the winter solstice , lies on the Tropic of Capricorn at 23°27' south latitude.
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Origin of solstice

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin sōlstitium sōl sun sāwel- in Indo-European roots -stitium a stoppage stā- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Latin solstitium, from sol (“sun") + sto (“stand") (as in English solar and resist), from sistō (“I stand still"), both from Proto-Indo-European roots.
    From Wiktionary