Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or like twilight; dim: "the period's crepuscular charm and a waning of the intense francophilia that used to shape the art market” ( Wall Street Journal).
  • adj. Zoology Becoming active at twilight or before sunrise, as do bats and certain insects and birds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or resembling twilight; dim
  • adj. active at or around dusk, dawn or twilight

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to twilight; glimmering; hence, imperfectly clear or luminous.
  • adj. Flying in the twilight or evening, or before sunrise; -- said certain birds and insects.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or resembling twilight; glimmering.
  • In zoology, flying or appearing in the twilight or evening, or before sunrise: as, the crepuscular or nocturnal Lepidoptera.

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

  • adj. like twilight; dim

Etymologies

From Latin creper ("dark, dusky"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As I made a mental note of Hitchens' casual use of the word "crepuscular," the Maryland professor grumbled in my direction.

    Sean Carman: Saint Christopher

  • Garrett, does the word crepuscular do anything for you?

    Atheist Nightmare | clusterflock

  • You might call it a dreamscape, but they say no, it's "crepuscular" - it's the slippery moment just after you wake up, between sleep and wakefulness.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Boars are crepuscular, that is they forage from dusk until dawn and they are the only hoofed animals known to dig burrows.

    thinkSPAIN - The leading English Spanish website

  • Maybe he was trying to find that "crepuscular" place where left and right brain coexist in a harmonious union.

    Spark plugs and transmissions

  • People view Mike Nelson's installation which turns the British Pavilion into a 'disorienting, dusty, crepuscular world full of labyrinthine passages'.

    UK Venice Biennale entry 'avoids Britishness'

  • Nelson's already much talked-about installation, which opens to the public this Saturday, takes the visitor through the front door of the elegant, colonnaded 19th-century former tearoom that forms Britain's official pavilion and plunges them into a disorienting, dusty, crepuscular world full of labyrinthine passages, false walls and shoulder-hunchingly low ceilings.

    UK Venice Biennale entry 'avoids Britishness'

  • Two members of staff were busy with customers and two more were assembling glossy black tables for huge tellys in the crepuscular rear of the shop.

    What can Apple learn from the Dixons boss?

  • A haze of cement dust blanketed the wreckage, softening sharp edges and muffling all sounds in its dreary crepuscular light.

    Day of Honey

  • Thus Jerome emphasises the crepuscular setting, and a certain psychic distance opens up between shroud and sudarium.

    Easter Sunday

Comments

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  • See also “crepuscle”, “crepuscular arch”, “crepuscular ray”, “crepuscule”, “crepusculine”, “crepusculous”, and “crepusculum”.

    January 26, 2011

  • “…Our life is but the crepuscular memory, or crepuscular reflection, doubtlessly distorted and mutilated, of an irrecoverable process.” - Jorge Luis Borges

    March 26, 2010

  • JM is at his crepuscular best when the edges of objects become indistinct.

    March 10, 2010

  • Gloaming

    August 6, 2009

  • twilight

    May 7, 2009

  • Before learning the correct pronunciation, this word reminded me of a husky crepe.

    November 11, 2008

  • crepuscular...something akin to muscular, yet a bit crusty and alien...


    tinevalen

    November 11, 2008

  • Crepuscular Dawn by Paul Virilio. Read it.

    February 23, 2008

  • I like this word, but it always reminds me of cells--like "corpuscle" or "muscular"--or even "testicular."

    If that ruins it for anyone, I'm sorryish. ;)

    October 23, 2007

  • A fine feature of "crepuscular" is its ability to signify dusk OR dawn. The in-between times, the secret times....

    September 16, 2007

  • In a strongly-worked essay on gun violence, Harlan Ellison once referred to Ronald Reagan as a "crepuscular old fart".

    May 17, 2007

  • One theory of the evolution of the human brain is that our distant crepuscular ancestors needed sharp vision to avoid predators. This lead to increased brain capacity necessary to process the higher image resolution that their enlarged optic nerve was delivering (I imagine a wide-eyed lemur-like creature constantly scanning its environment searching for danger in the twilight).

    April 8, 2007

  • I like this word. It is the inspiration for the last name of the heroine of "Dos Palabras," a short story by Isabel Allende. In Spanish it sounds quite romantic, but yes, I have to agree that the English pronunciation is less agreeable.

    February 16, 2007

  • I do agree this is a strange word...but it matches a pretty strange time of day. That beautiful, eerie glow and the darkness slowly creeping up. Of course, it can also be used to describe insects and other animals that come out around that time...

    January 4, 2007

  • odd, i just wrote this as a comment to someone on livejournal: the word crepuscular brings to mind rabbits, so for me it's a lovely, faintly sad word - sad because my bunnies have passed. it makes me think of twitching noses and shadows.

    December 27, 2006

  • It reminds me of seafood. Crepuscular... crustacean.... Same thing. :)

    December 22, 2006

  • Agreed. Twilight deserves a more pleasant-sounding word...

    December 9, 2006

  • I'm not sure whether I love crepuscular or hate it. I love that there's a word for this concept, but the actual word itself seems more descriptive of an infected, peeling scab.

    December 8, 2006