- 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.
- a period with reference to the total number of games to be played by a team: a 162-game season.
- a period with reference to the won-lost record of a team after it has completed its schedule: a .700 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 the time or state for use, eating, etc.: Asparagus is now in season.
- in the period regulated by law, as for hunting and fishing.
- at the right time; opportunely.
- (of an animal, especially female) in a state of readiness for mating; in heat.
- in good 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 activitiesthe rainy season
- the period during which any particular species of animal, bird, or fish is legally permitted to be caught or killedopen season on red deer
- a period during which a particular entertainment, sport, etc, takes placea season at the National Theatre; the football season; the tourist season
- (esp formerly) a period of fashionable social events in a particular placethe 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
- (of game) permitted to be caught or killed
- (of fresh food) readily available
- Also: in heat, on heat(of some female mammals) sexually receptive
- (tr) to add herbs, salt, pepper, or spice to (food)
- (tr) to add zest to
- (in the preparation of timber) to undergo or cause to undergo drying
- (tr; usually passive) to make or become mature or experiencedseasoned troops
- (tr) to mitigate or temperto 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.”
- One of four natural divisions of the year-spring, summer, autumn, and winter-in temperate zones. Each season has its own characteristic weather and lasts approximately three months. The change in the seasons is brought about by the shift in the angle at which the Sun’s rays strike the Earth. This angle changes as the Earth orbits in its yearly cycle around the Sun due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis. For example, when the northern or southern hemisphere of the Earth is at an angle predominantly facing the Sun and has more daylight hours of direct, overhead sunlight than nighttime hours, it is in its summer season; the opposite hemisphere is in then opposite condition and is in its winter season. See also equinox solstice.
- In some tropical climates, either of the two divisions-rainy and dry-into which the year is divided. These divisions are defined on the basis of levels of precipitation.
At the right time, opportunely, as in “The two young men desired to get back again in good season” (Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, 1844).
Available and ready for eating, or other use; also, legal for hunting or fishing. For example, Strawberries are now in season, or Let me know when trout are in season and I’ll go fishing with you. Both usages date from the 1300s, as does the antonym out of season, used for “inopportunely,” “unavailable,” and also for “not in fashion.” For example, Sorry, oysters are out of season this month, or This style used to be very popular, but it’s been out of season for several years.
see in season; open season.