Definition of SOLSTICE


Solstice is a noun that refers to either of the two times in the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator, resulting in the longest day or the longest night.

As a noun, solstice denotes either the summer solstice, which occurs around June 21st and marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, or the winter solstice, which occurs around December 21st and marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For example, “We celebrated the summer solstice with a bonfire,” indicates an event marking this astronomical occurrence.

Astronomical Significance: The solstice is a significant event in astronomy, representing the point at which the sun appears to reach its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon. For example, “During the winter solstice, the sun is at its lowest position in the sky,” highlights its celestial importance.

Cultural and Historical Importance: Solstices have been celebrated and observed by various cultures throughout history. They often hold cultural and religious significance, with many ancient structures, like Stonehenge, aligned with the solstices. For example, “Many cultures hold festivals to honor the winter solstice,” reflects the traditional celebrations associated with these events.

Seasonal Change: The solstice marks the transition of seasons, with the summer solstice ushering in summer and the winter solstice marking the start of winter. For example, “The summer solstice signals the beginning of the warmest season,” indicates the seasonal shift associated with this time.

Modern Celebrations: In contemporary times, solstices are celebrated with various activities and rituals, from music festivals to spiritual gatherings. For example, “People gather at ancient sites to watch the sunrise on the solstice,” demonstrates modern ways of marking the occasion.

In conclusion, solstice is a noun that signifies the two times each year when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator, resulting in the longest or shortest day. With profound astronomical, cultural, and seasonal significance, solstices continue to be important events marked by both historical traditions and modern celebrations.

Examples of SOLSTICE in a sentence

  • The solstice marks the longest or shortest day of the year, depending on the hemisphere.
  • Many cultures around the world celebrate the solstice with festivals and rituals.
  • Astronomers study the position of celestial bodies during the solstice to understand the Earth’s axial tilt.
  • In ancient times, people observed the solstice to predict seasonal changes and agricultural cycles.
  • The solstice has symbolic significance in various spiritual and religious traditions.
  • During the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere experiences its longest day and shortest night.
  • The winter solstice heralds the return of longer days and shorter nights in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Some people gather at ancient sites like Stonehenge to witness the sunrise or sunset on the solstice.

Origin of SOLSTICE

The term solstice has its etymological roots in Latin and English, providing insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Semantic Context: Solstice refers to the two points in the year when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, resulting in the longest and shortest days of the year.
  • Latin Influence: The term “solstice” originates from the Latin words “sol” (meaning “sun”) and “sistere” (meaning “to stand still”). In Latin, it denoted the apparent pause or halt in the sun’s movement across the sky, marking the extreme points of its annual journey.
  • English Formation: “Solstice” was adopted into English from Latin, retaining its original meaning of the sun’s apparent pause or standstill during its seasonal movement, as well as its association with the longest and shortest days of the year.
  • Cultural Connotations: Solstice carries cultural connotations of seasonal change, celestial phenomena, and ancient traditions and rituals associated with the sun’s cycles, such as solstice celebrations, festivals, and religious observances.
  • Usage in Context: “Solstice” is commonly used in astronomical, calendrical, and cultural contexts to describe the specific moments when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky, marking the onset of summer or winter in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively.

The term solstice reflects its origins in Latin and its adoption into English, highlighting its significance in marking the changing seasons and the sun’s annual journey across the sky, as well as its cultural and symbolic importance in human history and tradition.


  • Sun event
  • Sun’s zenith
  • Solar zenith
  • Sun’s extreme
  • Solar milestone
  • Sun culmination
  • Sun’s peak
  • Sun’s height


  • Equinox
  • Equilux
  • Daylight
  • Nighttime
  • Darkness
  • Eclipse
  • Lunar event
  • Celestial event


  • Astronomy
  • Celestial sphere
  • Earth’s axis
  • Orbit
  • Season
  • Day length
  • Solar calendar
  • Daylight hours

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