\ ˈnīt \

Definition of night 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the time from dusk to dawn when no sunlight is visible The store is open all night.

2a : an evening or night taken as an occasion or point of time the opening night

b : an evening set aside for a particular purpose Thursdays is game night in our house.

3a : the quality or state of being dark approached the enemy's camp under cover of night

b : a condition or period felt to resemble the darkness of night: such as

(1) : a period of dreary inactivity or affliction the glories of Roman civilization were lost in a gloomy night of ignorance, superstition, and barbarism —R. A. Hall

(2) : absence of moral values … that night which has for many centuries obscured our holy religion … —Joseph Priestley

c : the beginning of darkness : nightfall worked in the fields until night



Definition of night (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or associated with the night night air

2 : intended for use at night a night lamp

3a : existing, occurring, or functioning at night night baseball a night nurse

b : active or functioning best at night night people

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Other words from night


nightless \ˈnīt-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for night

Synonyms: Noun

black, blackness, candlelight, dark, darkness, dusk, gloaming, gloom, murk, semidarkness, shade, shadows, twilight, umbra

Synonyms: Adjective

nightly, nighttime, nocturnal

Antonyms: Noun

blaze, brightness, brilliance, day, daylight, glare, glow, light, lightness

Antonyms: Adjective

daily, diurnal

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Examples of night in a Sentence


Who are you calling at this time of night? It's eleven o'clock at night. She and her husband both work at night and sleep during the day. The store's open all night. They were up all night long playing video games. Let's stop for the night and get a hotel. a cold, rainy night in the city I stayed up late five nights in a row. Last night, I had the strangest dream. Spend six nights and seven days on a tropical island in the Caribbean!


He is taking a night flight. a night manager at the supermarket This is the last night bus.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kicking off with a two-night hotel stay in Stockholm, the 11-night Baltic trip includes a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the city's majestic Royal Swedish Opera House led by an opera singer. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Exclusive events, all-inclusive fares: Inside the Tauck formula for small-ship cruising," 13 July 2018 Or will the opening-night starting lineup look like Dunn, LaVine, Holiday, Markkanen, and Lopez? K.c. Johnson,, "Bulls Q&A: Should Wendell Carter Jr. enter Hall of Fame this week or next? What's the starting lineup?," 12 July 2018 On May 18, after a one-night layover at advanced base camp, at 21,300 feet, Jornet made a trial run—literally—on some sections. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 The 6-foot-10 Bryant, a second-round pick of the Utah Jazz in 2017, appeared in 15 NBA games and spent the majority of his rookie season in the G League after a draft-night trade with the Los Angeles Lakers., "Digest (July 2): Wayne Rooney on joining D.C. United: 'I'm here to win'," 3 July 2018 That leads to great theatrics at all-night summits, but next to nothing on the real challenges: managing conflict and poverty in Europe’s neighbourhood, and improving the integration of immigrants at home. The Economist, "The EU argues till dawn on migration, and achieves little," 29 June 2018 The issue of what passes for political civility in 2018 has been eagerly stoked by Trump, who has embraced the cultural battles playing out everywhere from restaurant tables to football fields to late-night comedy. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "Insults and rancor: Dems risk treading on Trump’s home field," 25 June 2018 Peter Finch, news anchor on KFOG and KGO in years past, has joined KCBS on the all-night shift, replacing Marty Lenz, who moved to a station in Denver. Ben Fong-torres,, "Listeners mourn loss of ‘Acoustic Sunrise’," 25 June 2018 At least two shooters opened fire at an all-night arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey, on Sunday morning, leaving 22 people injured, four critically, and a suspected gunman dead. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Mass Shooting at Trenton Arts Festival Leaves 22 Injured," 17 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of night


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for night


Middle English night, niht, going back to Old English nieht, niht, umlauted form of neaht, næht, going back to Germanic *naht- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German naht "night," Old Norse nótt, nátt, Gothic nahts), going back to Indo-European *nokw-t-, whence Old Irish innocht "tonight," Welsh peunoeth "every night" (Welsh nos "night" perhaps going back to *nokwt-stu-), Latin noct-, nox "night," Old Church Slavic noštĭ, Lithuanian naktìs, Greek nykt-, nýx, Sanskrit nakt-, nak, Hittite nekuz "in the evening" (from an oblique case stem *nekwt-)


attributive use of night entry 1

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Statistics for night

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for night

The first known use of night was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for night



English Language Learners Definition of night

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the time of darkness between one day and the next : the part of the day when no light from the sun can be seen and most people and animals sleep

: the darkness that occurs during the nighttime

: the final part of the day that is usually after work, school, etc., and before you go to bed : the early part of the night



English Language Learners Definition of night (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the night

: for use at night

: happening at night


\ ˈnīt \

Kids Definition of night

1 : the time between dusk and dawn when there is no sunlight

2 : the early part of the night : nightfall We go bowling every Friday night.

3 : the darkness of night His eyes were black as night.

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More from Merriam-Webster on night

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for night

Spanish Central: Translation of night

Nglish: Translation of night for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of night for Arabic Speakers

Comments on night

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


the setting in which something occurs

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