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gossamer

play
noun gos·sa·mer \ˈgä-sə-mər also ˈgäz-mər, ˈgä-zə-\

Definition of gossamer

  1. 1 :  a film of cobwebs floating in air in calm clear weather

  2. 2 :  something light, delicate, or insubstantial <the gossamer of youth's dreams — Andrea Parke>

gossamery

play \-mə-rē\ adjective

Examples of gossamer in a sentence

  1. a butterfly's wings of gossamer

Origin and Etymology of gossamer

Middle English gossomer, from gos goose + somer summer


First Known Use: 14th century


2

gossamer

adjective gos·sa·mer

Definition of gossamer

  1. :  extremely light, delicate, or tenuous

Examples of gossamer in a sentence

  1. <fairies are usually depicted as wearing gossamer or tattered clothing>

  2. <the gossamer veil seemed to float about the bride as she walked down the aisle>

Did You Know?

In the days of Middle English, a period of mild weather in late autumn or early winter was sometimes called a "gossomer," literally "goose summer." People may have chosen that name for a late-season warm spell because October and November were the months when people felt that geese were at their best for eating. "Gossomer" was also used in Middle English as a word for filmy cobwebs floating through the air in calm clear weather, apparently because somebody thought the webs looked like the down of a goose. This sense eventually inspired the adjective "gossamer," which means "light, delicate, or tenuous" - just like cobwebs or goose down.

Circa 1807

First Known Use of gossamer

circa 1807


GOSSAMER Defined for English Language Learners

1

gossamer

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noun gos·sa·mer \ˈgä-sə-mər also ˈgäz-mər, ˈgä-zə-\

Definition of gossamer for English Language Learners

  • : a piece of a spider's web

  • : a very light or delicate material


GOSSAMER Defined for Kids

gossamer

play
noun gos·sa·mer \ˈgä-sə-mər, -zə-\

Definition of gossamer for Students

  1. :  a film of cobwebs floating in the air



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