Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or occurring in a 24-hour period; daily.
  • adj. Occurring or active during the daytime rather than at night: diurnal animals.
  • adj. Botany Opening during daylight hours and closing at night.
  • n. A book containing all the offices for the daily canonical hours of prayer except matins.
  • n. Archaic A diary or journal.
  • n. Archaic A daily newspaper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Happening or occurring during daylight, or primarily active during that time.
  • adj. Said of a flower open, or releasing its perfume during daylight hours, but not at night.
  • adj. Having a daily cycle that is completed every 24 hours, usually referring to tasks, processes, tides, or sunrise to sunset.
  • adj. Done once every day; daily, quotidian.
  • adj. Published daily.
  • n. A flower that opens only in the day.
  • n. A book containing canonical offices performed during the day, hence not matins.
  • n. A diary or journal.
  • n. A daily news publication.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Relating to the daytime; belonging to the period of daylight, distinguished from the night; -- opposed to nocturnal
  • adj. Daily; recurring every day; performed in a day; going through its changes in a day; constituting the measure of a day
  • adj. Opening during the day, and closing at night; -- said of flowers or leaves.
  • adj. Active by day; -- applied especially to the eagles and hawks among raptorial birds, and to butterflies (Diurna) among insects.
  • n. A daybook; a journal.
  • n. A small volume containing the daily service for the “little hours,” viz., prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers, and compline.
  • n. A diurnal bird or insect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or belonging to day; pertaining to the daytime; belonging to the period of daylight, as distinguished from the night: opposed to nocturnal: as, diurnal heat; diurnal hours; diurnal habits, as of an animal.
  • Daily; happening every day: as, a diurnal task.
  • Performed in or occupying one day; lasting but for one day; ephemeral.
  • Constituting the measure of a day, either on the earth or one of the other planets: as, the diurnal revolution of the earth, or of Mars or Jupiter.
  • Characterized by some change or peculiarity which appears and disappears with the daytime,
  • n. A day-book; a diary; a journal.
  • n. A daily newspaper.
  • n. A Roman Catholic service-book containing the offices for the daily hours of prayer.
  • n. In ornithology, a diurnal bird of prey.
  • n. In entomology, one of the Diurna.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or belonging to or active during the day
  • adj. having a daily cycle or occurring every day

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin diurnālis, from Latin diurnus, from diēs, day.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin diurnālis, from diēs ("day"). Cognate with journal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Apparently, McLeanian logic tells us that the rotation of the earth also explains the seasons, considering how well it correlates with the short-term diurnal variation...

    McLean whinges

  • There is also a great difference between day and night high water; the difference between them is called the diurnal tide.

    The Tides

  • God then willed the revolution of the outermost sphere, known as the diurnal sphere, which caused all the other spheres to revolve with it, thereby producing changes in the hyle in accordance with the motions of the sphere.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy

  • In a similar manner, what is called the diurnal variation of the barometer, which is very small compared with the variations arising from the irregular changes in the state of the atmosphere, was discovered by comparing the average height of the barometer at different hours of the day.

    A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive

  • Scientists have now observed that one of these atmospheric tides, known as diurnal wavenumber

    Science Blog

  • For the circle around the insertion is seen to increase, and to inflame; and I believe, undergoes a kind of diurnal paroxysm of torpor and paleness with a succeeding increase of action and colour, like a topical fever-fit.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • My search revealed the words "diurnal," "dewlap," "osmoregulation," and "Guatemala," all technical terms that relate to the iguana in some way, shape or form.

    Staff Blogs

  • Thursday and Friday will both feature "diurnal" cloudiness, which means some morning sunshine followed by increasing clouds and mostly cloudy afternoons.

    Reader - MassLive.com

  • (* This difference in the heights of consecutive tides is termed the diurnal inequality.

    Captain Cook's Journal during his first voyage round the world

  • * (* This difference in the heights of consecutive tides is termed the diurnal inequality.

    Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World

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  • Poor Wordnik, now in condition infernal.
    I pray will resume its mission fraternal;
    While words may be wished
    In puns and in lists,
    Still mostly I miss the emission diurnal.

    December 10, 2014