crepuscular

adjective

cre·​pus·​cu·​lar kri-ˈpə-skyə-lər How to pronounce crepuscular (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or resembling twilight : dim
crepuscular light
the crepuscular sky
2
: occurring or active during twilight
crepuscular insects
crepuscular activity
crepuscular birds

Did you know?

The early Romans had two words for the twilight. Crepusculum was favored by Roman writers for the half-light of evening, just after the sun sets; 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 word twilight, but we did form the adjective crepuscular in the 17th century. The word's zoological sense, relating to animals that are most active at twilight, developed in the 19th century.

Examples of crepuscular in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hunt Deer at Midday During the Rut or Severe Cold Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and there are times when deer fall off the crepuscular wagon and move during midday. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 6 Sep. 2023 In the wild, red pandas are solitary, tree-dwelling and crepuscular − active at dusk and dawn − the release said. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 16 May 2023 With its high, darkened windows looming over Chester’s bone-white hospital bed and wheelchair, Beowulf Boritt’s set design creates a between-two-worlds effect that is skillfully augmented by Peter Kaczorowski’s crepuscular lighting and Brendan Aanes’s jolting sound design. BostonGlobe.com, 24 June 2021 Snow leopards are crepuscular, most active around dawn and dusk, and although the spotters kept up surveillance throughout the day, everyone joined the vigil during the likeliest hours, from roughly 4 p.m. until darkness or cold drove us back to camp for hot cider spiked with rum. Maggie Shipstead, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 Oct. 2020 This is the first time, NASA said, that the sun rays, also known as crepuscular rays, have been viewed so clearly. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 7 Mar. 2023 The wolf ignites a crepuscular uncertainty about what’s fact and what’s fable, about how to differentiate between bared teeth and lolling tongue. Maggie Lange, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 Last month, the Rothko Chapel in Houston (born 1971) invited the composer Tyshawn Sorey to present a major new work in its crepuscular galleries, as Morton Feldman had done 50 years before. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 The emphasis of lawmakers and policymakers shouldn't be preserving the crepuscular senescence of dying platforms. WIRED, 23 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crepuscular.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin crepusculāris, from Latin crepusculum "twilight" + -āris -ar — more at crepuscule

First Known Use

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crepuscular was in 1668

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Dictionary Entries Near crepuscular

Cite this Entry

“Crepuscular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crepuscular. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

crepuscular

adjective
cre·​pus·​cu·​lar kri-ˈpəs-kyə-lər How to pronounce crepuscular (audio)
1
: resembling twilight : dim
a faint crepuscular light
2
: occurring or active during twilight
crepuscular insects

Medical Definition

crepuscular

adjective
cre·​pus·​cu·​lar kri-ˈpəs-kyə-lər How to pronounce crepuscular (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or resembling twilight
crepuscular depths of personalityWilliam James
2
: active in the twilight
crepuscular animals

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