AskDefine | Define sundowner

Dictionary Definition



1 a tramp who habitually arrives at sundown
2 a drink taken at sundown

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A wandering traveller/worker (such as a swagman) who arrived at a farm too late in the day to do any work, but still partook of their hospitality.
  2. (nautical) A harsh disciplinarian sea captain typified by requiring all hands on board by sundown.
    • 1985: Ronald H. Spector, Eagle Against the Sun
      Arrogant, aloof, and suspicious, a "sundowner," or strict disciplinarian, King inspired respect in many but affection in few.
  3. medicine colloquial A patient, usually demented, who tends to become agitated in the evening.
    • 1977: Jules Hymen Masserman, Current Psychiatric Therapies, page 179.
      These patients may improve by day only to relapse at night (nocturnal delirium or sundowner's syndrome).
    • 1989: William H. Reid, The Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: Revised for the DSM III R., Page 71.
      They generally occur in the evening or at night in the form of "sundowner" syndrome, as a result of diminished sensory input and social isolation and/or exposure to an unfamiliar environment (e.g., the hospital).
    • 2007: Dennis Fiely, Dark Ages: For the elderly fighting mental or physical problems, life takes a frightening turn when nighttime comes. The Columbus Dispatch, Wednesday, February 07, 2007.
      "Sundowners syndrome" refers to changes in mood and behavior that begin near dusk.
  4. A cocktail consumed at sunset, or to signify the end of the day. A cocktail party in the early evening.
    • 1918: Robert Valentine Dolbey, Sketches of the East Africa Campaign, page 117.
      The cocktail, the universal "sherry and bitters" and sundowner will have to be retained.
    • 2005: Franz Wisner, Honeymoon With My Brother: A Memoir, page 243.
      Per custom, we capped our drives with a sundowner cocktail party at a scenic vantage point.
    • 2005: Edward M. Bruner, Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel, page 83.
      The Sundowner is basically a cocktail party with a buffet on a riverbank in the bush.

Extensive Definition

Sundowner may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Arab, Bowery bum, Mickey, Mickey Finn, aperitif, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, beggarly fellow, blighter, bo, budmash, bum, bummer, caitiff, chaser, cocktail, derelict, devil, doch-an-dorrach, dogie, drifter, drink, drunkard, eye-opener, floater, gamin, gamine, good-for-naught, good-for-nothing, guttersnipe, highball, hobo, homeless waif, human wreck, idler, knockout drops, landloper, lazzarone, loafer, losel, lowlife, mauvais sujet, mean wretch, mixed drink, mucker, mudlark, nightcap, no-good, parting cup, pauvre diable, piker, pilgarlic, poor creature, poor devil, pousse-cafe, punch, ragamuffin, ragman, ragpicker, roadster, rounder, sad case, sad sack, ski bum, skid-row bum, stiff, stirrup cup, stray, street Arab, street urchin, surf bum, swagman, swagsman, tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, traveler, truant, turnpiker, urchin, vag, vagabond, vagrant, vaurien, waif, waifs and strays, wastrel, wee doch-an-dorrach, worthless fellow, wretch
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