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From Middle English vespertyne, from Latin vespertīnus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɛspəɹtɪn/, /ˈvɛspəɹˌtaɪn/


vespertine (not comparable)

  1. (poetic) Of or related to the evening; that occurs in the evening.
    • 1837, William Evans Burton (editor), Philadelphia in the Dog Days: An Incoherency, Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and American Monthly Review, Volume 1: July—December, page 131,
      The peripatetics issue forth to indulge in the usual vespertine locomotion; and stroll gently down the aristocratic Chesnut and up the sedate and solid-seeming Mulberry, or vice versa.
    • 1999, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Walter Borenstein (translator), The Tribune of the People, page 124,
      Sovereign, majestic peace, joined to the spiritual isolation of the vespertine hour, rose up from those diaphanous, remote distances into the pure sky, where light little clouds, very much like bundles of cotton, scattered sparsely here and there, were tinged with gold.
    • 2000, Stephen Fry, The Stars' Tennis Balls, page 34,
      'I should be honoured, Ned. Truly honoured. Will you let me go upstairs and change into something a little more vespertine?' He pointed mournfully at his speech day garb.
    • 2004, Catherine E. Rigby, Topographies Of The Sacred: The Poetics Of Place In European Romanticism, page 217,
      Although in the published version of 1815, this sylvan scene of vespertine quietude does not refer to anywhere in particular, the poem was originally written in response to a specific place: on 6 September 1780 Goethe penciled it onto the wooden wall of a hunting hut on a forested hilltop, the Kickelhahn, near Ilmenau.
    • 2011, John Lars Zwerenz, Vespertine Fire, Selected Poems, page 34,
      As our ineffable ardor just begins, / All becomes fiery flames of desire; / Oh, welcome the dusk—and its vespertine fire!
  2. (astrology, of a planet or star) That sets after the sun.
    • 1822, Claudius Ptolemy, J. M. Ashmand (translator), Tetrabiblos, 2002, page 44,
      But, owing to the vespertine configuration of Jupiter and Mars, as well as the masculine condition of the anterior parts of the triplicity, and the feminine condition of its latter parts, the said nations regard women with scorn and indifference.
    • 2004, Jean-Baptiste Morin, Anthony Louis LaBruzza (translator), Astrologia Gallica, Book 18, page 56,
      Finally, he[Ptolemy] says that the vespertine or second stations of the planets, especially those posited in the I.C. [4th House], and in the case of Mercury and Venus, when they are vespertine in day charts but matutine in night charts, signify temperaments that are ingenious, capable of hard work, and able to discern arcane matters, such as are seen in the nativities of magicians, prestidigitators, dream interpreters, and so on.
  3. (zoology, of an animal) That is principally active at dusk.
    • 1949, John Thomas Howell, Marin Flora, page 103,
      In both forms of this interesting plant, the medium-sized spider-like flowers are closed from morning until late afternoon when they open to attract vespertine insects.
    • 2011, James D. Nichols, Camera Traps in Animal Ecology: Methods and Analyses, page 59,
      In research involving American black bears Ursus americanus, Bridges et al. (2004b) recorded activity patterns at bait sites in Virginia and found bear activity was generally vespertine but exhibited seasonal differences with bears becoming more nocturnal in the fall, possibly in response to hunting seasons and possible pursuit by bear-hounds.
  4. (botany) Occurring in the evening.
  5. (botany, of a plant) That opens or blooms in the evening.
    • 1818, Thomas Nuttall, The Genera of North American Plants, and a Catalogue of the Species, to the Year 1817, Volume 1, page 29,
      Herbaceous; leaves alternate, pinnatifid, asperate; flowers large, terminal and solitary, vespertine, (or expanding towards sun-set,) not deciduous or marcescent after closing, but re-opening at the usual time for several days in succession, when closed involute in a cone; [] .
    • 1883, William Robinson, The English Flower Garden, 2011, page 184,
      It[Mentzelia ornata] belongs to the vespertine section, or those in which the flowers fully expand only towards evening.
    • 2008, Pat Mora, House of Houses, page 9,
      I read of vespertine flowers, night bloomers like four o'clocks, opening like mouths in evening prayer.

Coordinate terms[edit]

See also[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of vespertīnus

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of vespertyne.