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Indian summer

a period of mild, dry weather, usually accompanied by a hazy atmosphere, occurring usually in late October or early November and following a period of colder weather.
Origin of Indian summer
1770-80, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for indian-summer
Historical Examples
  • The sun burned crimson in a gray-blue sky through a delicate indian-summer haze, as beautiful as a day-dream in paradise.

  • If there be sun of summer, let him not go out into it, mistaking it for the indian-summer sun!

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • They are suffused with the smoky haze of an indian-summer day.

  • She had reached the indian-summer modesty of old married couples.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • And above was the peaceful pale blue of an indian-summer sky.

    The Seven Darlings Gouverneur Morris
  • It was a hot, lazy, indian-summer day; and his muscles felt exhausted.

    Princeton Stories Jesse Lynch Williams
  • The day was full of perfect indian-summer sunshine, calm and bracing.

    Steep Trails John Muir
  • It was a beautiful indian-summer day, and he hobbled out into the field for an afternoon's fishing.

  • One indian-summer morning in October, some ladies found the old man sitting on his doorstep smoking a short pipe.

    In the Wilderness Charles Dudley Warner
  • There was a flicker of color left on the oaks and maples, and though it was not indian-summer weather it was first cousin to it.

British Dictionary definitions for indian-summer

Indian summer

a period of unusually settled warm weather after the end of summer proper
a period of ease and tranquillity or of renewed productivity towards the end of a person's life or of an epoch
Word Origin
originally US: probably so named because it was first noted in regions occupied by American Indians
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 indian-summer

Indian summer


"spell of warm weather after the first frost," first recorded 1778, American English, perhaps so called because it was first noted in regions inhabited by Indians, or because the Indians first described it to the Europeans. No evidence connects it with the color of fall leaves or a season of Indian attacks on settlements. It is the American version of British All-Hallows summer, French été de la Saint-Martin (feast day Nov. 11), etc. Also colloquial was St. Luke's summer (or little summer), period of warm weather occurring about St. Luke's day (Oct. 18).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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indian-summer in Culture

Indian summer definition

A period of unusually warm weather in the fall, often following a seasonable cold spell.

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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Idioms and Phrases with indian-summer

Indian summer

A period of mild, sunny weather occurring in late autumn, usually following a seasonable cold spell. For example, We had two whole days of Indian summer this year, and then it turned cold again. [ Late 1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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