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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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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)).

Noun

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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, “Seasons in the Sun”, Jaques Brel (original version), Rod McKuen (lyrics), 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[rosby] Lincoln, chapter I, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      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.
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “(please specify the chapter number)”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      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.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
      O! she is fallen
      Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
      Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
      And salt too little which may season give
      To her foul-tainted flesh.
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iv]:
      You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
  6. (Canada, US, Australia, 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.
    • 1998 February 11, “Tom's Rhinoplasty”, in South Park, season 1, episode 11:
      Or - is she Erin Gray in the second season of Buck Rogers beautiful?
  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.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      A season of great doubt fell upon her soul.
  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
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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
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Descendants
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  • Japanese: シーズン (shīzun)
Translations
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See also
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Seasons in English · seasons (layout · text) · category
spring summer autumn, fall winter

Verb

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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 impregnate (literally or figuratively).
    • 1589, Richard Hakluyt, chapter 22, in The principall navigations, voiages and discoveries of the English nation[1], part 1, London, page 93:
      When the male hath once ſeaſoned the female, he neuer after toucheth her.
      [When the male hath once seasoned the female, he never after toucheth her.]
    • 1601, Philemon Holland, The Historie of the World[2], book 8, London, translation of Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, chapter 45, page 224:
      For this prince [] would not ſuffer the Buls to come unto the Kine and ſeaſon them, before they were both foure yeares old.
    • 1745, A Collection of Voyages and Travels, page 150:
      If you had seasoned me with that philosophy, which formeth the mind to ratiocination, and insensibly accustoms it to be satisfied with nothing but solid reasons, if you had given me those excellent precepts and doctrines, which raise the foul above the assaults of fortune, and reduce her to an unshakeable and always equal temper, and permit her not to be lifted up b prosperity, nor debased by adversity, if you had taken care to give me the knowledge of what we are, and what are the first principles of things, and had assisted me in forming in my mind a fit idea of the greatness of the universe, and of the admirable order and motion of the parts thereof, if, I say, you had instilled into me this kind of philosophy, I should think myself incomparably more obliged to you than Alexander was to his Aristotle
    • 1763, Edmund Burton, Antient Characters deduced from Classical Remains, page 82:
      In minds, not seasoned and impregnated with the due apprehension of those ends, that conduce to ease and security, there is usually a tempestuous discontent, that raises unruly ferments; an unkind gale, by whose resistless powers, the port is overreached.
Synonyms
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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From French assaisonner.

Verb

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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.
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Translations
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Anagrams

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Middle English

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Noun

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season

  1. Alternative form of sesoun
    • 1470–1483 (date produced), Thom̃s Malleorre [i.e., 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.