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[aw-tuh m] /ˈɔ təm/
the season between summer and winter; fall. In the Northern Hemisphere it is from the September equinox to the December solstice; in the Southern Hemisphere it is from the March equinox to the June solstice.
a time of full maturity, especially the late stages of full maturity or, sometimes, the early stages of decline:
to be in the autumn of one's life.
Origin of autumn
1325-75; < Latin autumnus; replacing Middle English autumpne < Middle French autompne < Latin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for autumn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Anne Hutchinson arrived in Boston from England in the autumn of 1634.

    The Colonies 1492-1750 Reuben Gold Thwaites
  • She has tried various means of accounting for his silence, all the autumn.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • It was a wretched autumn day on which she set out for her new home.

  • The first faint touch of autumn colour was beginning to illuminate their foliage.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • All are oval and abruptly pointed, thick and firm in texture, turning yellow or russet brown in autumn.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
British Dictionary definitions for autumn


(sometimes capital)
  1. Also called (esp US) fall. the season of the year between summer and winter, astronomically from the September equinox to the December solstice in the N hemisphere and from the March equinox to the June solstice in the S hemisphere
  2. (as modifier): autumn leaves
a period of late maturity, esp one followed by a decline
Word Origin
C14: from Latin autumnus, perhaps of Etruscan origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for autumn

late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus "increase"), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Etruscan, but Tucker suggests a meaning "drying-up season" and a root in *auq- (which would suggest the form in -c- was the original) and compares archaic English sere-month "August."

Harvest was the English name for the season until autumn began to displace it 16c. In Britain, the season is popularly August through October; in U.S., September through November. Cf. Italian autunno, Spanish otoño, Portuguese outono, all from the Latin word. Unlike the other three seasons, its names across the Indo-European languages leave no evidence that there ever was a common word for it.

Many "autumn" words mean "end, end of summer," or "harvest." Cf. also Lithuanian ruduo "autumn," from rudas "reddish," in reference to leaves; Old Irish fogamar, literally "under-winter."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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