AskDefine | Define noon

Dictionary Definition

noon n : the middle of the day [syn: twelve noon, high noon, midday, noonday, noontide]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English nōn, from a Germanic borrowing of classical Latin nōna ‘ninth hour’ (short for nōna hōra), feminine of nōnus ‘ninth’. Cognate with Flemish noen, obsolete German Non, Norwegian non.



  1. The ninth hour of the day counted from sunrise; around three o'clock in the afternoon.
  2. Time of day when the sun is in its zenith; twelve o'clock in the day, midday.
  3. The corresponding time in the middle of the night; midnight.
    • 1885: When night was at its noon I heard a voice chanting the Koran in sweetest accents — Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Night 17



Extensive Definition

Noon (also midday) is the hour of 12:00 pm (1200) in an observer's local time zone, or more loosely, a time near the middle of the day when workers in many countries take a meal break. The scientific term solar noon describes the moment when the sun crosses the meridian in apparent solar time.
The opposite of noon is midnight.


The word "noon" is derived from Latin nona hora, the ninth hour of the day. The Roman and Western European medieval monastic day began at 6:00 am (0600) by modern timekeeping, so the ninth hour began at what is now 2:00 pm (1400). In English, the meaning of the word shifted to midday by the year 1100 CE.

Solar noon

Solar noon is the moment when the sun appears the highest in the sky (nearest zenith), compared to its positions during the rest of the day. It occurs when the Sun is transitting the celestial meridian. This is also the origin of the terms ante meridiem and post meridiem as noted above. The Sun is directly overhead at solar noon at the equator on the equinoxes; at Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23° 26′ 22″ N) on the June solstice; and at Tropic of Capricorn (23° 26′ 22″ S) on the December solstice. Due to the effects of the use of standard time, daylight saving time, and the equation of time, clock noon and solar noon rarely coincide.

See also


noon in Aymara: Chika uru
noon in Catalan: Migdia
noon in Czech: Poledne
noon in Danish: Middag (tidspunkt)
noon in German: Mittag
noon in Spanish: Mediodía
noon in Basque: Eguerdi
noon in French: Midi (zénith)
noon in Korean: 한낮
noon in Indonesian: Siang
noon in Icelandic: Hádegi
noon in Japanese: 正午
noon in Norwegian: Middag (tidspunkt)
noon in Norwegian Nynorsk: Middag
noon in Narom: Médi
noon in Polish: Południe (12:00)
noon in Portuguese: Meio-dia
noon in Quechua: Chawpi p'unchaw
noon in Russian: Полдень
noon in Simple English: Noon
noon in Slovak: Poludnie
noon in Slovenian: Poldne
noon in Finnish: Keskipäivä
noon in Swedish: Middag (tid)
noon in Walloon: Nonne
noon in Vlaams: Noene
noon in Contenese: 中午
noon in Samogitian: Puokaitis
noon in Chinese: 中午

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acme, apex, apogee, brow, cap, capstone, climax, cloud nine, crest, crown, culmen, culmination, edge, eight bells, extreme limit, extremity, heaven, heavens, height, high noon, highest pitch, highest point, limit, maximum, meridian, meridiem, midday, mountaintop, ne plus ultra, no place higher, noonday, nooning, noonish, noonlight, noonlit, noontide, noontime, not a soul, peak, pinnacle, pitch, point, pole, ridge, seventh heaven, sky, spire, summit, tip, tip-top, top, upmost, upper extremity, uppermost, utmost, vertex, very top, zenith
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