Word of the Day : December 22, 2017


adjective VESS-per-tyne


1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the evening

2 : active, flowering, or flourishing in the evening : crepuscular

Did You Know?

Imagine this vespertine scenario: Hesperus, the Evening Star, shines in a clear sky; little brown bats flutter near the treetops; somewhere in the distance a church bell calls worshippers to the evening service. Can you find three words that have linguistic counterparts to the Latin root vesper, which means "evening," hidden in that scene? The evening star was once known as Vesper (Hesperus is from the Greek word for "evening star"); vespertilian means "batlike" (the Latin name for a bat is vespertilio); and we still call an evening worship service vespers.


"Hemerocallis citrina has vespertine flowers that open before sunset and close by mid-morning." — Kim Smith, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, 2009

"A great tree whose leaves were animated by a vespertine breeze was above us, and an elderly maid … served us Cokes and packets of crisps from a tray." — Charles Mudede, The Stranger (Seattle, Washington), 1 June 2011

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