Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wintar winter and perhaps to Lithuanian vanduo water, Old English wæter — more at water
Date: before 12th century
1. the season between autumn and spring comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of December, January, and February or as reckoned astronomically extending from the December solstice to the March equinox
2. the colder half of the year
3. year <happened many winters ago> 4. a period of inactivity or decay II. verb (wintered; wintering) Date: 14th century intransitive verb 1. to pass the winter <winters in the Caribbean> 2. to feed or find food during the winter — used with on transitive verb to keep, feed, or manage during the winter III. adjective Date: 14th century 1. of, relating to, or suitable for winter <a winter vacation> <winter clothes> 2. sown in the autumn and harvested in the following spring or summer <winter wheat> <winter rye> — compare summer
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.