Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Like gossamer; flimsy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Like gossamer; flimsy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like gossamer; flimsy; unsubstantial.

Etymologies

gossamer +‎ -y (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Richard Polwhele's "Unsexed Females," where he asks us to picture an "unsex'd" woman's body: "Scarce by a gossamery film carest,/Sport [s], in full view, the meretricious breast;" he then guides us to undress the woman farther, to "Loose the chaste cincture, where the graces shone,/And languish'd all the Loves, the ambrosial zone."

    'Pleasure is now, and ought to be, your business': Stealing Sexuality in Jane Austen's _Juvenilia_

  • Yes, there it was in the boys, those gossamery boys who thumped the stage.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • They climbed past the neighborhood into a nameless gulch, huffing and wheezing through the sagebrush in their weight-tortured Reeboks, wading through prairie star, peppergrass, sunflower, the gossamery spores of plants kicked free and floating.

    The Shell Collector : Stories

  • The Sedleys, Rochesters, and their compeers, had too much actual occupation, good and bad, to be fairly ranked among those gossamery ornaments of mankind; they were idle enough in their hearts for the purpose, but their lives were _not_ shadows, their sole object was _not_ self.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844

  • And though you could not mark the delicacies of faces, you could have the full effect of costumes, -- rich, majestic, floating, gossamery, impalpable.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 70, August, 1863

  • But I must not anticipate -- a beautiful veil of brown tissue, none of your woolleny, gruff fabrics, fit only for penance, but a silken gossamery cloud, soft as a baby's check.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, No. 67, May, 1863

  • The lifting of the barrage as the infantry went in was signaled to the eye when the canopy of shell-smoke began to grow thin and gossamery for want of fresh bursts and another was forming beyond, as if the master hand at such things had lifted a long trail of cloud from one set of crests to another; only, nature never does things with such mathematical precision.

    My Second Year of the War

  • French also were attacking; the drumhead fire of their _soixante-quinze_ made a continuous roll, and the puffs of shrapnel smoke hung in a long, gossamery cloud fringing the horizon and the canopy of the green ridges.

    My Second Year of the War

  • Her light gossamery white dress was even more cloudy than usual; a softer, richer pink mantled her rounded cheeks; her big blue eyes were lustrous, and out of her parted lips poured a melody as sweet as a nightingale's.

    Frances Kane's Fortune

  • But I must not anticipate -- a beautiful veil of brown tissue, none of your woolleny, gruff fabrics, fit only for penance, but a silken, gossamery cloud, soft as a baby's cheek.

    Gala-days

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