the tenth month of the year, between September and November
Origin and usage
The noun October comes from Latin and French words meaning ‘eighth month’ as it was the eighth month of the year in the Roman calendar. It has been used in English since the time of Old English.
October is the month when the days become noticeably shorter in the UK, a process known as drawing in. This is particularly the case towards the end of the month, when the clocks go back by one hour. October is the hunting season: the season for hunting pheasants in the UK starts on October 1st and large numbers of this game bird are raised in captivity and then released so they can be shot, mostly in a system known as driven shooting. Pheasants come originally from Asia and eastern areas of Europe but they have been in the UK for many centuries and can be found living wild in most parts of the country. At the very end of the month comes Halloween, although trick or treating will be limited or absent this year.
“Fresh October brings the pheasant; Then to gather nuts is pleasant.”
(Sara Coleridge, The Months)
“It was night in the lonesome October Of my most immemorial year.”
(Edgar Allan Poe, Ulalume)