win·ter / ˈwintər/ • n. the coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February and in the southern hemisphere from June to August: the tree has a good crop of berries in winter| [as adj.] the winter months. ∎ Astron. the period from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox. ∎ (winters) poetic/lit. years: he seemed a hundred winters old. • adj. (of fruit and vegetables) ripening late in the growing season and suitable for storage over the winter: a winter apple. ∎ (of wheat or other crops) sown in autumn for harvesting the following year. • v. [intr.] (esp. of a bird) spend the winter in a particular place: birds wintering in the Channel. ∎ [tr.] keep or feed (plants or cattle) during winter. DERIVATIVES: win·ter·er n.win·ter·less adj.win·ter·ly adj.
winter and wedlock tames man and beast proverbial saying, late 16th century; winter here is taken as an image of old age, likened to marriage as a sobering influence.
winter never rots in the sky proverbial saying, early 17th century; meaning that the arrival of winter is not delayed.
Winter Olympics an international contest of winter sports held every four years at a two year interval from the summer games. They have been held separately from the main games since 1924.
Winter Palace the former Russian imperial residence in St Petersburg, stormed in the Revolution of 1917 and later used as a museum and art gallery.
Winter Queen the name given to Elizabeth Stuart (1596–1662), princess of Great Britain, married to Frederick, Elector Palatine of the Rhine; he was elected king of Bohemia in 1619 but driven out the following year, and they spent the rest of their lives in exile.
winter solstice the solstice at midwinter, at the time of the shortest day, about 22 December in the northern hemisphere and 21 June in the southern hemisphere.
Winter War the war between the USSR and Finland in 1939–40. Heavily outnumbered by invading Soviet troops, the Finns were defeated and forced to cede western Karelia to the Soviet Union.
See also the rich man gets his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter.
- Boreas the north wind; associated with winter. [Rom. Myth.: Hall, 130]
- crane pictorial emblem in Buddhist tradition. [Animal Symbol-ism: Jobes, 378]
- Ded Moroz personification of winter; “Grandfather Frost.” [Russ. Folklore: Misc.]
- goat zodiacally belongs to December; hence, winter. [Astrology: Hall, 139]
- Hiems personification; portrayed as old and decrepit. [Rom. Myth.: LLEI, I: 322]
- Jack Frost personification of winter. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]
- Old Man Winter personification of winter. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]
- old man wrapped in cloak personification of winter. [Art: Hall, 130]
- Persephone the period of her stay (winter) with Hades. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 28]
Hence winter vb. spend the winter. XIV. winterly (-LY1), wintry (-Y1). OE. winterliċ, wintriġ, with cogns. in OHG., etc.; present currency is due to new formations in XVI.