Definition of night in English:

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Pronunciation: /nīt/


1The period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise: a moonless night the office door is always locked at night
More example sentences
  • At night the sky had been swept clean of clouds and the stars were blazing in the moonless night.
  • She loved starry nights, sunrises and sunsets, the moon, snow… her list could go on and on.
  • She loved going in there at night, especially on nights that the moon was full and shining brightly through the glass sun room.
hours of darkness, darkness, dark;
nightfall, sunset
1.1The night as the interval between two days: a two-bedroom cabin costs $90 per night somebody put him up for the night
More example sentences
  • Flights and self-catering accommodation for seven nights costs €400 per person sharing.
  • Prices are per person for two nights' bed and breakfast with dinner on the first night, based on two people sharing a double room.
  • My June break cost from £90 per person for two nights, bed, breakfast and evening meal.
1.2The darkness of night: a line of watchfires stretched away into the night
More example sentences
  • Into the web we went, deeper and deeper into the night and into the darkness of the maze.
1.3 literary Nightfall.
2The period of time between afternoon and bedtime; an evening: he was not allowed to go out on weekday nights
More example sentences
  • Last night's Eastern Evening News has predicted that I will win North Norfolk.
  • Last night at dinner my Mother was talking about her arrangements to go down to Cork on Tuesday.
  • On Friday night Chris approached us to do a skit for all the delegates after dinner on the last night.
2.1An evening appointed for some activity, or spent or regarded in a certain way: wasn’t it a great night out?
More example sentences
  • Mr Ewing said people in the community had already organised a large number of fundraising events including quiz nights, a pantomime and concerts.
  • The Parent Staff Friends Association began fundraising two years ago with events such as quiz nights, a dance and a Christmas fair.
  • The next event is a quiz night on Friday at the Ramsey Memorial Hall, with tickets already selling fast.


short for good night.


night and day

All the time; constantly: she studied night and day
More example sentences
  • Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day.
  • Put simply, Scotland has to watch and listen, night and day, to every little thing that affects English sporting teams.
  • You can labour night and day to give them a world that's comprehensible.
all the time, around/round the clock, ‘morning, noon, and night’, ‘day in, day out’, ceaselessly, endlessly, incessantly, unceasingly, interminably, constantly, perpetually, continually, relentlessly
informal 24-7



Example sentences
  • The nightless night can last up to 60 days in Lapland, and from the middle of June until August, the sun never sets but hangs low over the horizon.
  • Of the migration of geese, he had written, ‘The waste corn of Illinois is carried through the clouds to the Arctic tundras, there to combine with the waste sunlight of a nightless June to grow goslings for all the lands between.’
  • It's an unpretentious, stylish and not particularly original B movie about space travelers marooned on a nearly nightless desert planet.


Old English neaht, niht, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nacht and German Nacht, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin nox and Greek nux.

  • Although an Old English word, night comes ultimately from the same root as Latin nox, the source of equinox (Late Middle English) and nocturnal (Late Middle English). Fortnight (Old English) is an Old English contraction of ‘fourteen nights’, and reflects an ancient Germanic custom of reckoning time by nights rather than days. The original night of the long knives was the legendary massacre of the Britons by the Saxon leader Hengist in 472. According to the 12th-century Welsh chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Saxons attended a meeting armed with long knives, and when a prearranged signal was given each Saxon drew his weapon and killed the Briton seated next to him. The phrase is now more commonly associated with the brutal suppression of the Brownshirts (a Nazi militia replaced by the SS) on Hitler's orders in 1934. It is also used of any decisive or ruthless sacking, in particular the occasion in 1962 when British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismissed a third of his cabinet at the same time. Nightmares are nothing to do with horses. In the Middle Ages a nightmare (Middle English) was thought of as an evil female spirit or monster that lay on sleeping people and suffocated them: the -mare part comes from Old English and meant ‘suffocating evil spirit’.

Words that rhyme with night

affright, alight, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, flight, fright, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, spite, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: night

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