lucubration

noun lu·cu·bra·tion \ ˌlü-kyə-ˈbrā-shən , ˌlü-kə- \

Definition of lucubration

: laborious or intensive study; also : the product of such study usually used in plural

lucubration was our Word of the Day on 09/28/2013. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Imagine someone studying through the night by the light of a dim candle or lamp. That image demonstrates perfectly the most literal sense of lucubration. Our English word derives from the Latin verb lucubrare, meaning "to work by lamplight." (Yes, that Latin root is related to lux, the Latin word for "light.") In its earliest known English uses in the late 1500s and early 1600s, lucubration named both nocturnal study itself and a written product thereof. By the 1800s, however, the term had been broadened to refer to any intensive study (day or night), or a composition, especially a weighty one, generated as a result of such study. Nowadays, lucubration is most often used as a plural and implies pompous or stuffy scholarly writing.

Origin and Etymology of lucubration

Latin lucubration-, lucubratio study by night, work produced at night, from lucubrare to work by lamplight; akin to Latin luc-, lux


Learn More about lucubration


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lucubration? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of very fine texture or delicate form

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!