season [%PREMIUM_LINK%] (sē'zən) Pronunciation Key |
One of four natural divisions of the year—spring, summer, autumn, and winter—in temperate zones. Each season has its own characteristic weather and lasts approximately three months. The change in the seasons is brought about by the shift in the angle at which the Sun's rays strike the Earth. This angle changes as the Earth orbits in its yearly cycle around the Sun due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. For example, when the northern or southern hemisphere of the Earth is at an angle predominantly facing the Sun and has more daylight hours of direct, overhead sunlight than nighttime hours, it is in its summer season; the opposite hemisphere is in then opposite condition and is in its winter season. See also equinox, solstice.
In some tropical climates, either of the two divisions—rainy and dry—into which the year is divided. These divisions are defined on the basis of levels of precipitation.