Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Australian A vagrant; a tramp.
  • n. Chiefly British A drink taken at sundown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An itinerant worker, such as a swagman, who arrives at a farm too late in the day to do any work, but readily accepts food and lodging.
  • n. An itinerant worker, a swagman.
  • n. A patient, usually demented, who tends to become agitated in the evening.
  • n. A cocktail consumed at sunset, or to signify the end of the day; cocktail party held in the early evening.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tramp or vagabond in the Australian bush; -- so called from his coming to sheep stations at sunset of ask for supper and a bed, when it is too late to work; -- called also traveler and swagman (but not all swagmen are sundowners).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A man who makes a practice of arriving at some station at sundown, receiving rations for that night, and the next morning, when he is expected to work out the value of the rations, vanishing or pretending to be ill.
  • n. A physician, holding some government office, who carries on a private practice in the afternoon when government office-hours are over.
  • n. One who lives toward the sundown or west.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a drink taken at sundown
  • n. a tramp who habitually arrives at sundown

Etymologies

From sundown +‎ -er. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He told me it is a race against time and a race against what they call the sundowner winds.

    CNN Transcript May 7, 2009

  • The latest fire remained out of control and firefighters were on alert for a predicted return of a "sundowner" - fierce winds that sweep down late in the day from the Santa Ynez Mountains towering close behind Santa Barbara.

    Latest Headlines - ABC 7 News

  • The latest 1,300-acre fire remained out of control and firefighters were on alert for a predicted return of a "sundowner" - fierce winds that sweep down late in the day from the Santa Ynez Mountains towering close behind Santa Barbara.

    Freep.com - RSS

  • The latest fire remained out of control and firefighters were on alert for a predicted return of a "sundowner" -- fierce winds that sweep down late in the day from the Santa Ynez Mountains towering close behind Santa Barbara.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • It remained out of control late Thursday and firefighters were on alert for a predicted return of a "sundowner" -- fierce winds that sweep down late in the day from the Santa Ynez Mountains towering close behind Santa Barbara.

    detnews.com - Local

  • Firefighters were on alert for a predicted return of a "sundowner" - fierce winds that can sweep down late in the day from the Santa Ynez Mountains towering close behind Santa Barbara.

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  • Rob Marciano tells us a little while ago that the gusting evening winds called sundowner winds, have been making it pretty tough for firefighters to get a handle on this blaze.

    CNN Transcript Jul 4, 2008

  • It's called a sundowner wind, and it usually means that the strong Santa Ana winds are just days away.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • A sundowner is a drink at sundown, and it doesn't get any easier than that.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • The South African tradition of the sundowner is another reason to head to the country at any opportunity.

    Yahoo! Sports - Top News

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Comments

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  • "3. (medicine, colloquial) A patient, usually demented, who tends to become agitated in the evening." --Wiktionary

    See sundowner syndrome.

    April 18, 2011