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In the Coverdale Bible in 1535, in Genesis and Exodus about 1250 as Middle English sunnesine.[1] Compound of sun + shine.


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sunshine (uncountable)

  1. The direct rays, light or warmth of the sun.[2]
    We were warmed by the bright sunshine.
  2. A location on which the sun's rays fall.[2]
    We moved out of the shade and into the sunshine.
  3. geniality or cheerfulness.[2]
    I enjoyed the sunshine of her smile.
  4. A source of cheerfulness or joy.[2]
  5. The effect which the sun has when it lights and warms some place.[2]
  6. (UK) Friendly form of address often reserved for juniors.
    Alright sunshine, safe to cross now.
  7. (UK) Ironic form of address used to an inferior or troublemaker.
    OK, sunshine, listen up and listen good. There's five vandalised telephone boxes out there and I know you're responsible.
  8. (humorous) Used to address someone who has just woken up and/or is very sleepy.
    Good morning, sunshine!


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sunshine (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly US) Open to and permitting public access, especially with regard to activities that were previously closed-door or back-room meetings.
    Because of the sunshine law, we could go to the planning meeting.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, Robert K. Barnhart (ed.), Chambers, 1988
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Webster's College Dictionary, Random House, 2001