from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A painting of a night scene.
- n. An instrumental composition of a pensive, dreamy mood, especially one for the piano.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A work of art relating or dedicated to the night.
- n. A dreamlike or pensive composition (usually for the piano).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A night piece, or serenade. The name is now used for a certain graceful and expressive form of instrumental composition, as the nocturne for orchestra in Mendelsohn's “Midsummer-Night's Dream” music.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In painting, a night-piece; a painting exhibiting some of the characteristic effects of night-light.
- n. In music, a composition, properly instrumental, which is intended to embody the dreamy sentiments appropriate to the evening or the night; a pensive and sentimental melody; a reverie; a serenade. The style of composition and the term are peculiar to the romantic school. Also notturno.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a pensive lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)
French, from Old French, nocturnal, from Latin nocturnus; see nocturnal.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French nocturne ("nocturnal"), from Latin nocturnus (Wiktionary)