Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or like twilight; dim.
  • adjective Active primarily at dawn or dusk or both. Used of animals.
  • adjective Occurring at dawn or dusk or both:

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or resembling twilight; dim
  • adjective zoology active at or around dusk, dawn or twilight

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

  • adjective like twilight; dim

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin creper ("dark, dusky").

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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • 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'

Comments

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  • 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

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

    December 9, 2006

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

    December 22, 2006

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    May 17, 2007

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

    September 16, 2007

  • 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