The first day of summer, also known as the summer solstice was Tuesday, but not everyone knows what the word “solstice” means. For anyone who might be confused about the meaning of the longest day of the year, continue reading below, courtesy of

There are actually multiple meanings of “solstice.” It literally means “furthest or culminating point; a turning point.”

However, in relation to summer, that might sound confusing. The word solstice is used to describe winter and summer. That’s because the sun is furthest from the equator, or closest to the equator. In summer, as far as the northern hemisphere is concerned, the sun is closest to the equator.

READ: 17 Best Summer Solstice Quotes For Sun Lovers

The origin of the word “solstice” is derived from the Latin word sōlstitium. It literally translates to “the (apparent) standing still of the sun.” That’s because sōl means sun and sister means to stand still or “to come to a stop.”

The Latin word sōlstitium was then adopted by Old French, where it became solstice, the world that is still used today.

Where astrology is concerned, solstice means “either corresponding moments the when the Sun is directly above either the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn.” People who celebrate their birthday from June 22 to July 22 are cancers in the zodiac sign. People whose birthday falls from Dec. 22 to Jan. 20 are capricorns.

Urban Dictionary has a less refined definition of solstice. It’s “the time of year that seems to never end. The longest days of summer the unending nights of winter,” they write.

READ: 12 Best TV Shows To Binge-Watch On Netflix This Summer

When used as an adjective it means, as per Urban Dictionary: “Quality, excellent, dandy, just all around amazing.”

The summer solstice, which falls between spring and autumn, starts June 20 and lasts until Sept. 23. It has the longest days and the hottest weather, however temperatures vary depending upon the location on earth. For instance, places near the equator are traditionally warmer than those near the south or north poles. That’s because the locations near the poles do not get as much sunlight as the ones near the equator, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program said.

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