Definition of gossamer in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɡäsəmər/


1A fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, which is seen especially in autumn.
Example sentences
  • So I made a classic cross-hair from spider's gossamer and used it to pinpoint a cell in the area I wanted to watch.
  • In the UK, gossamer is the creation of a million baby spiders that spin threads vertically from the top of bushes which will carry them off into the wind, enabling them to travel for miles.
  • It was thin and wispy, like freshly spun gossamer in the early morning light.
silk, gauze, chiffon
1.1Used to refer to something very light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate: in the light from the table lamp, his hair was blond gossamer [as modifier]: gossamer wings
More example sentences
  • My ivory limbs glisten under the weight of the lightest gossamer.
  • It looked to have been crafted from gossamer, or light itself.
  • It resembles something sewn together out of scraps of gossamer: it's delicate and ethereal.
gauzy, gossamery, fine, diaphanous, delicate, filmy, floaty, chiffony, cobwebby, wispy, thin, light, insubstantial, flimsy;
translucent, transparent, see-through, sheer



Pronunciation: /ˈɡäsəmərē/
Example sentences
  • While the bulk of the album centers around gossamery ambiance, there are a few breaks from tradition.
  • Set on a bed of marinated cucumber and red pepper relish, it is then surrounded by a gossamery corn emulsion.
  • They spin a gossamery veil over the piano playing to enhance the imagery.


Middle English: apparently from goose + summer1, perhaps from the time of year around St. Martin's summer, i.e., early November, when geese were eaten (gossamer being common then).

  • Gossamer literally means ‘goose summer’, another name for St Martin's Summer, in early November, when geese were eaten. This is also the time of the year when you are likely to see cobwebs spun by small spiders, floating in the air or spread over a grassy surface, and so these cobwebs came to be called gossamer.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gos·sa·mer

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.