• WordNet 3.6
    • adj nocturnal belonging to or active during the night "nocturnal animals are active at night","nocturnal plants have flowers that open at night and close by day"
    • adj nocturnal of or relating to or occurring in the night "nocturnal darkness"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The kakapo is a nocturnal burrowing parrot of New Zealand that has a green body with brown and yellow markings. Its name is from Maori and means "night parrot."
    • n Nocturnal An instrument formerly used for taking the altitude of the stars, etc., at sea.
    • Nocturnal Having a habit of seeking food or moving about at night; as, nocturnal birds and insects; raccoons are nocturnal.; -- of animals.
    • Nocturnal Of, pertaining to, done or occuring in, the night; as, nocturnal darkness, cries, expedition, etc.; -- opposed to diurnal.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Mongooses were brought to Hawaii to kill rats. This plan failed because rats are nocturnal while the mongoose hunts during the day.
    • nocturnal Of or pertaining to the night; belonging to the night; used, done, or occurring at night: as, nocturnal cold; a nocturnal visit: opposed to diurnal.
    • nocturnal Of or pertaining to a nocturn.
    • nocturnal In zoology, active by night: as, nocturnal lepidopter.
    • nocturnal Syn. 1 and See nightly.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Nocturnal nok-tur′nal pertaining to night: happening by night: nightly
    • n Nocturnal an instrument for observations in the night
    • ***


  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.”
  • Jean Baudrillard
    “Every woman is like a time-zone. She is a nocturnal fragment of your journey. She brings you unflaggingly closer to the next night.”
  • Federico Garcia Lorca
    Federico Garcia Lorca
    “With their souls of patent leather, they come down the road. Hunched and nocturnal, where they breathe they impose, silence of dark rubber, and fear of fine sand.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. nocturnalis, nocturnus, fr. nox, noctis, night. See Night, and cf. Nocturn


In literature:

Xicotencatl was much offended at this order, and insisted on making another nocturnal attack on our quarters.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV." by Robert Kerr
Many of them ogled her curiously, for a female figure was a rarity in nocturnal San Francisco.
"Port O' Gold" by Louis John Stellman
The uneasiness of nocturnal fear, increased by the spectral houses, increased the weight of the sad burden under which he was struggling.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
In the profound nocturnal silence broken only by the man's slow, regular breathing, she heard a sudden ring.
"The Pretty Lady" by Arnold E. Bennett
Thereto is added a Tract on Nocturnal Disturbances, which are wont to bode the deaths of Men.
"Cock Lane and Common-Sense" by Andrew Lang
He was aware of the most delicious sensation of sharing a perfect nocturnal solitude with his wife.
"Mr. Prohack" by E. Arnold Bennett
But Charley dismissed the idea as idle fancy, for the nocturnal stillness was unbroken.
"The Young Wireless Operator--As a Fire Patrol" by Lewis E. Theiss
Evidently he meant to deny his nocturnal visit to Pons' rooms.
"Poor Relations" by Honore de Balzac
He and Rachel had the ground floor and all its nocturnal enchantment to themselves.
"The Price of Love" by Arnold Bennett
Silence so deep that some far-distant cry could have pierced it, lent a sombre majesty to the nocturnal scene.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3" by Various

In poetry:

And saw the myriad stars, that blaze
And fill, with their resplendent rays,
The deep nocturnal vaults on high,
But never thought or questioned why.
"Creation Light" by James Madison Bell
And when the tempest showers snowflakes
Upon her shoulders, hair, and breast,
Nocturnal Egypt wakes her heartache
In the midst of northern fog and mist.
"Snow Maiden" by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
My pregnant, deep, abysmal sleep
By forest, hill, and lake
Down ways and streets nocturnal,
By autumn fields and vernal;
Through lands fair and Infernal —
"Evensong" by E J Rupert Atkinson
Legions of cats from the alleys nocturnal.
Howling and lean in the glare of the moon,
Screaming the future with mouthings infernal,
Yelling the Garden of Pluto's red rune.
"The Cats" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
And there is ardent, living peace--its urns
Of even bliss ranged 'mid these twilights, where
--Embers of hope upon the ashen air--
Each great nocturnal planet steadfast burns.
"The Rope-Maker" by Emile Verhaeren
Hero and Lord
Of the joyous, helpful virtues all.
Sonorous, pure and crystalline!
Let his radiance fall
On my heart nocturnal and make it shine
In the wheeling aureole of his sword!
"St. George" by Emile Verhaeren

In news:

Photo by Jack GouldA 12-hour timetable of the Nocturnal Wonderland rave—the largest ever, according to some reports—held at the Empire Polo Field in Indio on Sept 2 and 3.
As with any of his normal touring dates, Elton called on Nocturne Productions to add HD video support for the extra special event.
Draper's Nocturne Projection Screen is Outdoorsy.
Hanna Montana Goes Live With Nocturne .
Nocturnes , songs that are usually inspired by the night, set the main theme for the album.
Two works from 19 Nocturne Boulevard.
Then listen to Nocturnal Emissions tonight to find out who wins.
Winner will be announced tonight during Nocturnal Emissions.
Listen to both songs, cast your vote, and listen to Nocturnal Emissions to find out who wins.
Bless Burial and his nocturnal ways.
It would be hard to dispute the proposition that New Yorkers are nocturnal creatures.
Nocturne Video returned to continue supporting Super Bowl celebrations this year, supplying video enhancement for both VH1's Pepsi Smash concert and the NFLs exclusive VIP party at Bayfront Park in Miami.
Nocturne, the Nation's Longest-Running Club Night, Says Adieu .
For more on Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, check out our earlier interview with Grace .
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the 9:30 Club.

In science:

The astrolabe, of course, but also the nocturnal, armillary spheres, cross staff, quadrant, dioptra, and (on p. 193) that funny-looking star-burst on a stick that old astronomers (we mean 15th century or something, not ourselves) are sometimes shown holding.
Astrophysics in 2006