Etymology
Advertisement
season (n.)

c. 1300, sesoun, seson, "a period of the year," with reference to weather or work, also "proper time, suitable occasion," from Old French seison, seson, saison "season, date; right moment, appropriate time" (Modern French saison) "a sowing, planting," from Latin sationem (nominative satio) "a sowing, planting," noun of action from past-participle stem of serere "to sow" (from PIE root *sē- "to sow").

The sense shifted in Vulgar Latin from "act of sowing" to "time of sowing," especially "spring," regarded as the chief sowing season. In Old Provençal and Old French (and thus in English), this was extended to "any one of the four natural periods of the year," especially as determined astronomically by solstices and equinoxes. Later it was extended to the recurring annual wet and dry periods of the Tropics (1719).

In other Indo-European languages, generic "season" (of the year) words typically are from words for "time," sometimes with a word for "year" (as in Latin tempus (anni), German Jahreszeit). Spanish estacion, Italian stagione are unrelated, being from Latin statio "station."  

The season, short for some particular annual festivity, is by 1791 (hence season's greetings, etc.). Sometimes merely meaning "period of time," as in for a season. Man for all seasons, one for all times and circumstances, is from 1510s.

The meaning "time of year when an animal is hunted or killed for food" (as in in season) is from late 14c. The sense of "period of time regularly devoted to a particular sport or amusement" is by 1680s. Meaning "time of year during which a place is most frequented" is from 1705. Season ticket, one giving the holder unlimited use, admission, etc. for a specified period, is attested from 1820.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
season (v.)

late 14c., sesounen, "improve the flavor of by adding spices," from season (n.) and from Old French saisonner "to ripen, season" (Modern French assaisoner), from seison, saison "right moment, appropriate time" on the notion of fruit becoming more palatable as it ripens.

Figurative use by 1510s. Of timber, etc., "bring to maturity by prolonged exposure to some condition," by 1540s; hence in extended sense "bring to the best condition or use; of persons "fit to any use by time or habit," c. 1600. In 16c., it also meant "to copulate with." Intransitive sense of "become mature, grow fit for use" is by 1670s.

Related entries & more 
off-season (n.)

1848, "a period when business is down," from off- (adj.) (see off (prep.)) + season (n.).

Related entries & more 
seasonal (adj.)

"pertaining to the seasons; relating to a season," 1829, from season (n.) + -al (1). Of workers or employment, from 1904. Related: Seasonally; seasonality.

Related entries & more 
seasoning (n.)

1510s, "act or time of impregnation" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1600, "act of adding flavor;" 1570s, "something added to food to impart flavor," also figurative; verbal noun from season (v.). Of enslaved persons, "become inured to the conditions of slavery," by 1771.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
seasoned (adj.)

mid-15c., "flavored, spiced," past-participle adjective from season (v.). Meaning "fit for use, matured, hardened" (of timber, etc.), is from 1540s; that of "acclimatized, accustomed" (of persons, animals, etc.) is from 1640s.

Related entries & more 
unseasoned (adj.)
1580s, "not made palatable by seasoning," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of season (v.). Meaning "not habituated by experience" is recorded from c. 1600.
Related entries & more 
seasonable (adj.)

"suitable as to the time or season of the year," c. 1300, sesounable, originally of weather, "favorable," from Old French saisonable, Anglo-French seisonnable, from seison, saison (see season (n.)). From early 15c. as "occurring at the right season, opportune." Related: Seasonably; seasonableness.

Related entries & more 
sow (v.)

Old English sawan "to scatter seed upon the ground or plant it in the earth, disseminate" (class VII strong verb; past tense seow, past participle sawen), from Proto-Germanic *sean (source also of Old Norse sa, Old Saxon saian, Middle Dutch sayen, Dutch zaaien, Old High German sawen, German säen, Gothic saian), from PIE root *sē- "to sow," source of semen, season (n.), seed (n.). Figurative sense was in Old English.

Related entries & more 
*sē- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to sow." 

It forms all or part of: disseminate; inseminate; seed; seme (adj.); semen; seminal; seminar; seminary; semination; sinsemilla; sow (v.); season.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin serere "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian sju, sti "to sow;" Old English sawan "to sow;" Old Prussian semen "seed," Lithuanian smenys "seed of flax," Old Church Slavonic seme, Old High German samo, German Same;Old English sed, sd "that which may be sown; an individual grain of seed." 

Related entries & more