Definition of crepuscular
- crepuscular light
- the crepuscular sky
- crepuscular insects
- crepuscular activity
- crepuscular birds
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crepuscular.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The early Romans had two words for "twilight." "Crepusculum" was favored by Roman writers for the half-light of evening, just after the sun sets; it is a diminutive formation based on their word for "dusky," which is "creper." "Diluculum" was reserved for morning twilight, just before the sun rises - it is related to lucidus, meaning "bright." We didn't embrace either of these Latin nouns as substitutes for our Middle English "twilight," but we did form the adjective "crepuscular" in the 17th century. At first, it only meant "dim" or "indistinct," often used in a figurative sense. In the 1820s, we added its special zoological sense, describing animals that are most active at twilight.
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without deliberation, pause, or delay
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