dogday

dog days

noun
1.
the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11.
2.
a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.

Origin:
1530–40; translation of Latin diēs caniculārēs; see canicular

dog-day, adjective
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World English Dictionary
dog days
 
pl n
1.  the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
2.  a period marked by inactivity
 
[C16: translation of Late Latin diēs caniculārēs, translation of Greek hēmerai kunades]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dog days
1538, from L. dies caniculares, from Gk. (the star was also known as kyon seirios) are around the time of the heliacal rising of Sirius (q.v.), the Dog-star, noted as the hottest and most unwholesome time of the year; usually July 3 to Aug. 11, but variously calculated, depending
on latitude and on whether the greater Dog-star (Sirius) or the lesser one (Procyon) is reckoned. The heliacal rising of Sirius has shifted down the calendar with the precession of the equinoxes; in ancient Egypt c.3000 B.C.E. it coincided with the summer solstice, which was also the new year and the beginning of the inundation of the Nile. The "dog" association apparently began here (the star's hieroglyph was a dog), but the reasons for it are obscure.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

dog days definition


The hot, muggy days of summer. The Romans associated such weather with the influence of Sirius, the dog star, which is high in the sky during summer days.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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