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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sesoun, seson (time of the year), from Old French seson, saison (time of sowing, seeding), from Latin satiō (act of sowing, planting) from satum, past participle of serō (to sow, plant) from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁- (to sow, plant). Akin to Old English sāwan (to sow), sǣd (seed). Displaced native Middle English sele (season) (from Old English sǣl (season, time, occasion)), Middle English tide (season, time of year) (from Old English tīd (time, period, yeartide, season)).


season (plural seasons)

  1. Each of the four divisions of a year: spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter

    Synonyms: yeartide, yeartime
    • c. 1705, Joseph Addison, Remarks on several parts of Italy, &c. in the years 1701, 1702, 1703
      we saw, in six days' traveling, the several seasons of the year in their beauty and perfection
    • 1973, Jaques Brel (original version), Rod McKuen (lyrics), “Seasons in the Sun”, performed by Terry Jacks:
      We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, / But the wine and the song, / like the seasons, have all gone.
  2. A part of a year when something particular happens.
    mating season
    the rainy season
    the football season
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
  3. A period of the year in which a place is most busy or frequented for business, amusement, etc.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist[1]:
      He seldom was seen in the office himself, but occasionally a paragraph in the paper recorded that his yacht had touched at Mentone and that he had been seen at the Monte Carlo tables, or that he was expected in Leicestershire for the season.
  4. (cricket) The period over which a series of Test matches are played.
  5. (obsolete) That which gives relish; seasoning.
  6. (Canada, US, broadcasting) A group of episodes of a television or radio program broadcast in regular intervals with a long break between each group, usually with one year between the beginning of each.

    Synonym: series (British English)
    The third season of Friends aired from 1996 to 1997.
  7. (archaic) An extended, undefined period of time.
    • 1656, John Owen, The Mortification of Sin
      So it is in a person when a breach hath been made upon his conscience, quiet, perhaps credit, by his lust, in some eruption of actual sin; — carefulness, indignation, desire, fear, revenge are all set on work about it and against it, and lust is quiet for a season, being run down before them; but when the hurry is over and the inquest is past, the thief appears again alive, and is as busy as ever at his work.
  8. (video games) The full set of downloadable content for a game, which can be purchased with a season pass.
  9. (video games) A fixed period of time in a massively multiplayer online game in which new content (themes, rules, modes, etc.) becomes available, sometimes replacing earlier content.
Usage notes[edit]

In British English, a year-long group of episodes of a television or radio show is called a series, whereas in North American English the word series is a synonym of program or show.

Derived terms[edit]
  • Japanese: シーズン (shīzun)
See also[edit]
Seasons in English · seasons (layout · text)
spring summer autumn, fall winter


season (third-person singular simple present seasons, present participle seasoning, simple past and past participle seasoned)

  1. (transitive) To habituate, accustom, or inure (someone or something) to a particular use, purpose, or circumstance.
    to season oneself to a climate
  2. (transitive, by extension) To prepare by drying or hardening, or removal of natural juices.
    The timber needs to be seasoned.
  3. (intransitive) To become mature; to grow fit for use; to become adapted to a climate.
  4. (intransitive) To become dry and hard, by the escape of the natural juices, or by being penetrated with other substance.
    The wood has seasoned in the sun.
  5. (transitive) To mingle: to moderate, temper, or qualify by admixture.
  6. (obsolete) To copulate with; to impregnate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holland to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

From French assaisonner.


season (third-person singular simple present seasons, present participle seasoning, simple past and past participle seasoned)

  1. (transitive) To flavour food with spices, herbs or salt.
Related terms[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of sesoun
    • 1470–1483 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “[Launcelot and Guinevere]”, in Le Morte Darthur (British Library Additional Manuscript 59678), [England: s.n.], folio 449, recto:
      IN Maẏ whan eúý harte floryſhyth́ ⁊ burgruyth́ for as the ſeaſon ys luſty to be holde and comfortable ſo man and woman reioyſyth and gladith of ſom[er] cõmynge wt his freyſhe floures
      IN May, when every heart flourisheth and burgeneth; for as the season is lusty to behold, and comfortable, so man and woman rejoice and be glad of summer coming with his fresh flowers.