Origin: OE. Night, niht, AS. Neaht, niht; akin to D. Nacht, OS. & OHG. Naht, G. Nacht, Icel. Ntt, Sw. Natt, Dan. Nat, Goth. Nachts, Lith. Naktis, Russ. Noche, W. Nos, Ir. Nochd, L. Nox, noctis, gr, Skr. Nakta, nakti.

Cf. Equinox, Nocturnal.

1. That part of the natural day when the sun is beneath the horizon, or the time from sunset to sunrise; especially, the time between dusk and dawn, when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night." (Gen. I. 5)

2. Hence: Darkness; obscurity; concealment. "Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night." (Pope)

Intellectual and moral darkness; ignorance.

A state of affliction; adversity; as, a dreary night of sorrow.

The period after the close of life; death. "She closed her eyes in everlasting night." (Dryden)

A lifeless or unenlivened period, as when nature seems to sleep. "Sad winter's night".

Night is sometimes used, especially. With participles, in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, night-blooming, night-born, night-warbling, etc. Night by night, Night after night, nightly; many nights. "So help me God, as I have watched the night, Ay, night by night, in studying good for England." (Shak) Night bird.

<medicine> A bird of ill omen that cries in the night; especially, the bittern. Night rule. A tumult, or frolic, in the night; as if a corruption, of night revel. Such conduct as generally rules, or prevails, at night. "What night rule now about this haunted grove?" (Shak) Night sight.

<medicine> See Nyctolopia. Night snap, a night thief. Night soil, human excrement; so called because in cities it is collected by night and carried away for manure. Night spell, a charm against accidents at night.

<zoology> Night swallow, the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus phragmitis); called also night singer. Night watch. A period in the night, as distinguished by the change of watch. A watch, or guard, to aford protection in the night. Night watcher, one who watches in the night; especially, one who watches with evil designs. Night witch. Same as Night hag, above.

(01 Mar 1998)

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