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gossamer

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

Definition of gossamer

1 :a film of cobwebs floating in air in calm clear weather
2 :something light, delicate, or insubstantial
  • the gossamer of youth's dreams
  • —Andrea Parke

gossamery

play \ˈgä-sə-mə-rē also ˈgäz-mə-, ˈgä-zə-\ adjective

gossamer was our Word of the Day on 06/15/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of gossamer in a Sentence

  1. a butterfly's wings of gossamer

Recent Examples of gossamer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gossamer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of gossamer

Middle English gossomer, from gos goose + somer summer


2

gossamer

adjective

Definition of gossamer

:extremely light, delicate, or tenuous
  • a gossamer white veil

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

Recent Examples of gossamer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gossamer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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.

Origin and Etymology of gossamer


GOSSAMER Defined for English Language Learners

gossamer

play
noun

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

:a film of cobwebs floating in the air


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