What does nocturnal mean?

Definitions for nocturnal
nɒkˈtɜr nlnoc·tur·nal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word nocturnal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nocturnaladjective

    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"

  2. nocturnaladjective

    of or relating to or occurring in the night

    "nocturnal darkness"


  1. Nocturnaladjective

    Having a habit of seeking food or moving about at night; as, nocturnal birds and insects; raccoons are nocturnal.; -- of animals.


  1. nocturnaladjective

    Primarily active during the night.

  2. nocturnaladjective

    Taking place at night.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. NOCTURNALadjective


    Etymology: nocturnus, Latin.

    From gilded roofs depending lamps display
    Nocturnal beams, that emulate the day. Dryden.

    I beg leave to make you a present of a dream, which may serve to lull your readers ’till such time as you yourself shall gratify the public with any of your nocturnal discoveries. Add.

  2. Nocturnalnoun

    An instrument by which observations are made in the night.

    That projection of the stars which includes all the stars in our horizon, and therefore reaches to the thirty-eight degree and a half of southern latitude, though its centre is the north pole, gives us a better view of the heavenly bodies as they appear every night to us; and it may serve for a nocturnal, and shew the true hour of the night. Isaac Watts.


  1. nocturnal

    Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal", versus diurnal meaning the opposite. Nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed senses of hearing, smell, and specially adapted eyesight. Some animals, such as cats and ferrets, have eyes that can adapt to both low-level and bright day levels of illumination (see metaturnal). Others, such as bushbabies and (some) bats, can function only at night. Many nocturnal creatures including tarsiers and some owls have large eyes in comparison with their body size to compensate for the lower light levels at night. More specifically, they have been found to have a larger cornea relative to their eye size than diurnal creatures to increase their visual sensitivity: in the low-light conditions. Nocturnality helps wasps, such as Apoica flavissima, avoid hunting in intense sunlight. Diurnal animals, including squirrels and songbirds, are active during the daytime. Crepuscular species, such as rabbits, skunks, tigers and hyenas, are often erroneously referred to as nocturnal. Cathemeral species, such as fossas and lions, are active both in the day and at night.


  1. nocturnal

    Nocturnal refers to being active, occurring, or functioning primarily during the night rather than during the day. This characteristic is common in certain animals, plants, and celestial phenomena.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nocturnaladjective

    of, pertaining to, done or occuring in, the night; as, nocturnal darkness, cries, expedition, etc.; -- opposed to diurnal

  2. Nocturnaladjective

    having a habit of seeking food or moving about at night; as, nocturnal birds and insects

  3. Nocturnalnoun

    an instrument formerly used for taking the altitude of the stars, etc., at sea

  4. Etymology: [L. nocturnalis, nocturnus, fr. nox, noctis, night. See Night, and cf. Nocturn.]


  1. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal is the debut album from hip hop duo Heltah Skeltah, consisting of members Rock and Ruck, members of Brooklyn supergroup Boot Camp Clik. It was the first BCC album to feature some outside producers, such as Shawn J. Period and E-Swift.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nocturnal

    nok-tur′nal, adj. pertaining to night: happening by night: nightly.—n. an instrument for observations in the night.—adv. Noctur′nally.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. nocturnal

    An instrument chiefly used at sea, to take the altitude or depression of some of the stars about the pole, in order to find the latitude and the hour of the night.

Suggested Resources

  1. nocturnal

    Song lyrics by nocturnal -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by nocturnal on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Nocturnal

    species that fly or are active at night.

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How to pronounce nocturnal?

How to say nocturnal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nocturnal in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nocturnal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of nocturnal in a Sentence

  1. Valentina Mella:

    Koalas are nocturnal animals, so they are only active at night, and they are arboreal, which means that they live in trees and rely on them for food, shelter and, as we just discovered, also for drinking, koalas actually spend 98% of their lives in trees and the only time they are on the ground is when they are trying to find another tree with a more generous food supply or a mate.

  2. Ashima:

    The smell, the nocturnal stillness, the dance of droplets and the moonlight on the road. The perfect sense.

  3. Daniel Smith:

    The circadian system changes throughout life. If Kristen Knutson've got kids, Kristen Knutson know that very young kids tend to be nocturnal, my suspicion is that we might observe even more pronounced effects in younger samples, but that hasn't been done yet, to my knowledge.

  4. Mathias Basner:

    Passive strategies, like new windows or insulation, can be very effective for nocturnal noise exposure, but should really be our last resort, noise that is not produced can not have effects.

  5. Mathias Basner:

    Passive strategies, like new windows or insulation, can be very effective for nocturnal noise exposure, but should really be our last resort, noise that is not produced cannot have effects.

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"nocturnal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/nocturnal>.

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