twilight

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English twilight, twyelyghte, from Old English twēonelēoht (twilight), equivalent to twi- (double, half-) +‎ light, literally ‘second light, half-light’. Cognate to Scots twa licht, twylicht, twielicht (twilight), Low German twilecht, twelecht (twilight), Dutch tweelicht (twilight, dusk), German Zwielicht (twilight, dusk).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

twilight (plural twilights)

  1. The soft light in the sky seen before the rising and (especially) after the setting of the sun, occasioned by the illumination of the earth’s atmosphere by the direct rays of the sun and their reflection on the earth.
    I could just make out her face in the twilight.
  2. The time when this light is visible; the period between daylight and darkness.
    It was twilight by the time I got back home.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, chapter 2, The Ivory Gate:
      At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.
  3. (astronomy) The time when the sun is less than 18° below the horizon.
  4. Any faint light through which something is seen; an in-between or fading condition.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      The twilight of probability.

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Translations[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

twilight (not comparable)

  1. Pertaining to or resembling twilight.
    O’er the twilight groves and dusky caves. —Alexander Pope.

See also[edit]