a. One of the four natural divisions of the year, spring, summer, fall, and winter, in the North and South Temperate zones. Each season, beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, is characterized by specific meteorological or climatic conditions.
b. The two divisions of the year, rainy and dry, in some tropical regions.
2. A recurrent period characterized by certain occurrences, occupations, festivities, or crops: the holiday season; tomato season.
3. A suitable, natural, or convenient time: a season for merriment.
4. A period of time: gone for a season.
v. sea·soned, sea·son·ing, sea·sons
1. To improve or enhance the flavor of (food) by adding salt, spices, herbs, or other flavorings.
2. To add zest, piquancy, or interest to: seasoned the lecture with jokes.
3. To treat or dry (lumber, for example) until ready for use; cure.
4. To render competent through trial and experience: a lawyer who had been seasoned by years in the trial courts.
5. To accustom or inure; harden: troops who had been seasoned in combat. See Synonyms at harden.
6. To moderate; temper.
To become usable, competent, or tempered.
1. Available or ready for eating or other use.
2. Legally permitted to be caught or hunted during a specified period.
3. At the right moment; opportunely.
4. In heat. Used of animals.
out of season
1. Not available, permitted, or ready to be eaten, caught, or hunted.
2. Not at the right or proper moment; inopportunely.
[Middle English, from Old French seison, from Latin satiō, satiōn-, act of sowing, from satus, past participle of serere, to plant; see sē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.