dog days of summer


dog days of summer
also, dog days (diminutive form)


  • used to describe hot, sultry days.
  • a period of hot days that occurs in mid-to-late summer.
  • the punishingly hot days of summer.
  • also called muggy days.

Example Sentences

  1. Lemonade is a classic drink to keep yourself cool during the dog days of summer.
  2. It was the start of the dog days of summer in Canada, while the cold was at its peak in Australia.
  3. My friend has a swimming pool to cool off during the dog days of summer.
  4. Whether you like it or not, sweltering summers happen every year. And here they are—the dog days of summer.


The phrase dog days of summer originated from ancient Rome and is used to refer to the period of hot, humid weather that spans from July 3rd to mid-August in the Northern Hemisphere. Ideally, the idiom was coined from Sirius, a term that translates to “dog star,” the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Normally, Sirius is observed behind the sun from Earth during the Northern Hemisphere summer. However, in late summer, it shows up in the East before sunrise and occupies the same part of the sky as the sun, hence the name Dog Days of Summer.

The ancient Greeks noticed that Sirus—the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major—rises along with the sun in July. They believed the combined intensity of the star and sun was what made this the hottest season of the year.

In the past, the period was known to usher in distress and drought, where men and dogs could run berserk due to the extreme heat. Today, this occurrence is lenient and is taken to denote extreme peak temperatures and humidity. Even so, the dog days do not last the entire summer. Rather, they run 20 days before and after the sun aligns with Sirius. The phrase was first acknowledged in English through John de Trevisa’s publication “Bartholomeus De Proprietatibus” in 1398. It has since become a popular phrase used to describe the hot and sticky July weather in most parts of the world.

See also the shortened form: dog days.

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