12 Sun Idioms: Radiant Phrases You Should Absorb and Use

Language is peppered with expressions that breathe life into our conversations, and among them, sun idioms shine particularly bright. These phrases, drawing from the sun’s universal presence, are potent with imagery and meaning, capturing our experiences and emotions under its rays. We use them to convey a spectrum of concepts—from the ebullition of success to the subtleties of everyday struggles.

What are Sun Idioms?

Sun idioms are phrases that use the concept of the sun to express meanings that aren’t taken literally. These idioms often embody the characteristics of the sun, like its warmth, ubiquity, and its role in signaling the passage of time. We can hear these figures of speech in everyday language, and they add color and vivid imagery to our conversations.

Here are some common sun idioms and their meanings:

  • Rise with the sun: To wake up early in the morning.
  • Sun Belt: Refers to the southern states in the United States known for warm, sunny weather.
  • Catch some sun: To spend time in the sun, usually to tan or soak up warmth.
  • Everything under the sun: Implies just about everything possible or imaginable.
  • Bask in the sunlight: To enjoy one’s moment of glory or good fortune.

12 Sun Idioms: Radiant Phrases You Should Absorb and Use

List of Sun Idioms

Rise with the sun Bask in the sunlight
Catch some sun Fly too close to the sun
Everything under the sun Go to bed with the sun
Brighten up one’s day Make hay while the sun shines
Have the sun in one’s eyes I think the sun rises and sets on someone
One’s moment in the sun A place in the sun

Sun Idioms with Meaning, Usage, and Example

Rise with the sun

  • Meaning: This idiom means to wake up and get out of bed early in the morning as the sun comes up.
  • Usage in context: It’s often used to describe someone’s daily routine that starts at an early hour.
  • Example: Even on weekends, my grandfather would rise with the sun, enjoying the quiet of the early morning for a peaceful walk.

Bask in the sunlight

  • Meaning: To sit or lie in the warmth of the sun, especially to enjoy it and relax.
  • Usage in context: This can be used literally for someone enjoying the sun’s warmth or figuratively to mean enjoying the spotlight or attention.
  • Example: After a long winter, it felt wonderful to bask in the sunlight on the park bench.

Catch some sun

  • Meaning: This idiom refers to spending time in the sun, usually to get a suntan.
  • Usage in context: It’s often used when people are planning to go outside to enjoy sunny weather or when on vacation.
  • Example: Let’s go to the beach this weekend and catch some sun; I could use a tan.

Fly too close to the sun

  • Meaning: To be overly ambitious, taking on risks that can lead to downfall, similar to the myth of Icarus.
  • Usage in context: It’s used as a caution against overreaching or hubris.
  • Example: He tried to expand his company too quickly without proper planning and flew too close to the sun, ultimately leading to its collapse.

Everything under the sun

  • Meaning: This idiom means everything imaginable; all possible things.
  • Usage in context: It’s used to indicate a very wide range or an extensive variety of things.
  • Example: The new mega mall has everything under the sun—from clothes to electronics, they sell it all.

Go to bed with the sun

  • Meaning: To go to sleep early in the evening, around the time the sun sets.
  • Usage in context: It’s used to describe a person’s habit of sleeping early.
  • Example: My little sister goes to bed with the sun; she’s always asleep by 7 PM.

Brighten up one’s day

  • Meaning: To make someone feel happier or to improve their mood.
  • Usage in context: It’s used when something or someone makes a positive difference in someone’s day, often when they’re feeling down or going through a tough time.
  • Example: Receiving a compliment from her teacher brightened up her day after a series of difficult exams.

Make hay while the sun shines

  • Meaning: To take advantage of favorable conditions; to make the most of an opportunity while it lasts.
  • Usage in context: It’s often used to encourage proactive behavior or to suggest that someone should act before the opportunity passes.
  • Example: He knew the stock market was volatile, so he decided to make hay while the sun shone and sold his shares while they were still profitable.

Have the sun in one’s eyes

  • Meaning: To be facing the sun so that one is dazzled by its light, making it hard to see.
  • Usage in context: It’s usually mentioned in situations where sunlight is causing visual discomfort or impairment.
  • Example: She missed the catch during the baseball game because she had the sun in her eyes.

I think the sun rises and sets on someone

  • Meaning: To believe that someone is perfect or extremely important; to adore someone immensely.
  • Usage in context: This idiom is typically used to describe a deep affection or admiration for someone.
  • Example: He adores his granddaughter so much, he acts as if the sun rises and sets on her.

One’s moment in the sun

  • Meaning: A brief period when someone receives a lot of attention, glory, or success.
  • Usage in context: It’s used to describe a fleeting period of fame or recognition.
  • Example: Winning the national science award gave the young researcher her moment in the sun, and her work was celebrated across the country.

A place in the sun

  • Meaning: A position of comfort, success, or happiness where one is content and secure.
  • Usage in context: It’s often used to express a desire for a good or advantageous position in life.
  • Example: After years of hard work and struggle, she finally found a place in the sun with a job she loved and a supportive community around her.

Using Sun Idioms in Everyday Language

We often use idioms to add flavor and color to our language. Sun idioms, in particular, are a vibrant way to convey meanings indirectly through the symbolism associated with sunlight and its effects.

In Written Communication

In written English, we carefully choose idioms to enrich our message and engage the reader. For instance, when we want to stress the importance of taking immediate action while conditions are favorable, we might write, “Let’s make hay while the sun shines,” to encourage promptness. Similarly, someone might express the universality of an experience by saying, “There is nothing new under the sun,” emphasizing that many human experiences are universal.

Here are two common sun idioms and how we may use them in written communication:

  • Make hay while the sun shines: Take advantage of favorable circumstances.

Example: With the market at its peak, local businesses should make hay while the sun shines.

  • Nothing new under the sun: Everything has already been done or experienced.

Example: Every invention seems revolutionary, but often there is nothing new under the sun.

In Spoken Conversation

During conversations, sun idioms help us convey our thoughts in a relatable and often picturesque way. If someone is an early riser, we might say they “rise with the sun.” This paints a clear image of the person starting their day with the dawn. Or, if we’re describing someone exceptionally capable or stubborn, we might affectionately refer to them as a “son of a gun” in a lighthearted manner.

Let’s break down these idioms:

  • To rise with the sun: To wake up and get out of bed early.

Example: Paul is so disciplined; he always rises with the sun.

  • Son of a gun: A term used to describe someone difficult or impressive in some way.

Example: You have to admit, Jenna completing that project so quickly—she’s a son of a gun.