nocturnal

adjective

noc·​tur·​nal näk-ˈtər-nᵊl How to pronounce nocturnal (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or occurring in the night
a nocturnal journey
nocturnal activities
2
: active at night
a nocturnal predator
nocturnal insects, such as mosquitoes
nocturnally adverb

Examples of nocturnal in a Sentence

he bought a new telescope so he could pursue his favorite nocturnal hobby of astronomy
Recent Examples on the Web Timor nightjars are nocturnal and live in a wide variety of forests but remain poorly known. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 3 July 2024 Share [Findings] The nocturnal heart rate of young men can be predicted by their female partners’ daytime feelings of intimacy or annoyance. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 19 June 2024 And salamanders, a kind of nocturnal amphibian, are the unequivocal stars. Benji Jones, Vox, 18 June 2024 For an after hours thrill, sign up for the nocturnal on-property nature walk where you’ll get acquainted with some of the local wildlife, from red-eyed frogs to sloths. Chadner Navarro, Vogue, 15 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for nocturnal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nocturnal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French nocturnel, borrowed from Late Latin nocturnālis "for night use," from Latin nocturnus "of or occurring at night" (from noct-, nox night entry 1 + -urnus, temporal suffix, as in diurnus "of the day") + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at journal

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nocturnal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near nocturnal

Cite this Entry

“Nocturnal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nocturnal. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

nocturnal

adjective
noc·​tur·​nal näk-ˈtərn-ᵊl How to pronounce nocturnal (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or occurring in the night
a nocturnal journey
2
: active at night
nocturnal insects
nocturnally adverb
Etymology

from early French nocturnal, nocturnel or Latin nocturnalis, both meaning "nocturnal," derived from earlier Latin noct-, nox "night" — related to equinox

Medical Definition

nocturnal

adjective
noc·​tur·​nal näk-ˈtərn-ᵊl How to pronounce nocturnal (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or occurring at night
nocturnal myoclonus
2
: characterized by nocturnal activity
a nocturnal form of filariasis

More from Merriam-Webster on nocturnal

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