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From Middle English midnight, midnyght, mydnyght, (also as middelniȝte), from Old English midniht, middeniht, middeneaht, (also as midderneaht and middelniht), from Proto-Germanic *midjanahts (midnight), equivalent to mid- +‎ night. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Midnoacht (midnight), Old High German mittinaht (midnight), Danish midnat (midnight), Swedish midnatt (midnight), Icelandic miðnætti (midnight). Compare also Saterland Frisian Middernoacht (midnight), Dutch middernacht (midnight), German Mitternacht (midnight).



midnight (countable and uncountable, plural midnights)

  1. (historical) The middle of the night: the sixth temporal hour, equidistant between sunset and sunrise.
  2. 12 o'clock at night exactly.
    • Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman:
      "She twisted her hands behind her;
      but all the knots held good!
      She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
      They stretched and strained in the darkness,
      and the hours crawled by like years,
      Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
      Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
      The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!


  • (12 o'clock at night): 12 am; 00:00, 12 a.m., 12 midnight


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