night owl


Definition of night owl

: a person who keeps late hours at night

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for night owl



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of night owl in a Sentence

a night owl whose spouse is more of an early bird

Recent Examples on the Web

Before the sun sets on Milan Fashion Week, the night owls took to the Cracco Cafe this past weekend to toast Academy Award–winning actress Cate Blanchett. Vogue, "W Magazine Celebrates Its Latest Issue With Guest Editor Cate Blanchett," 24 Sep. 2018 Monday’s night owls were treated to the imagination of Zachary Wilder, who maybe couldn’t have designed a better program to show off his wondrous baroque tenor voice. Globe Staff,, "Bushels of Bach at Boston Early Music Festival," 12 June 2019 Within any culture, people also prefer to rest and rise at different times: In most populations, individuals range from night owls to morning larks in a near bell curve distribution. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "How Our Sleeping Habits Helped to Make Us Human," 1 Jan. 2019 That might mean reducing the use of small screens an hour or two before bedtime, especially for a night owl who wants to become a morning person. SELF, "We Asked a Doctor How Much You Need to Care About Your Circadian Rhythm," 4 Sep. 2018 Encouraging words, even for night owls living in an early-bird world. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep—And Why It Should Be Your Top Priority (Really)," 1 Nov. 2018 Rocket enthusiasts and night owls should check back then to watch this mission live. Loren Grush, The Verge, "One of SpaceX’s powerful new Falcon 9 rockets is going on its second mission tonight," 6 Aug. 2018 Yankee night owls, rejoice—this phenomenon will be visible worldwide. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Shroud the Moon This Month," 2 July 2018 When the biological clock turns kids into night owls and day sleepers. Eva Dwight, USA TODAY, "How do you get teens out of bed during the summer without fighting?," 25 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of night owl

1594, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about night owl

Statistics for night owl

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for night owl

The first known use of night owl was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for night owl

night owl


English Language Learners Definition of night owl

informal : a person who enjoys staying up late at night

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on night owl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with night owl

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for night owl

Spanish Central: Translation of night owl

Nglish: Translation of night owl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on night owl

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


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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