Definitions

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

  • noun Laborious study or thought.
  • noun Writing produced by laborious effort or study, especially when viewed as pedantic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of lucubrating; close study or thought; careful consideration; meditation.
  • noun A product of thought or study; a written composition; an essay or treatise.

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

  • noun The act of lucubrating, or studying by candlelight; nocturnal study; meditation.
  • noun That which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.

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

  • noun intense and prolonged study or meditation; especially, late at night
  • noun The product of such study; often, writings.

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

  • noun a solemn literary work that is the product of laborious cogitation
  • noun laborious cogitation

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin lūcubrātiō ("nighttime study"), from lūcubrō ("work by artificial light"), from lūx ("light").

Examples

  • Four days after this learned 'lucubration' the voice of the warm-hearted magistrate speaks in a reminder of the prevailing abject misery of the London poor who “in the most miserable lingering Manner do daily perish for Want in this Metropolis.”

    Henry Fielding A Memoir

  • As such, he was the recipient of lucubrations from countless cranks; but this particular lucubration was so different from the average ruck of similar letters that, instead of putting it into the waste-basket, he had turned it over to a reporter.

    Goliah

  • Most of all, he loved [comic books] for the pictures and the stories they contained, the inspiration and lucubration of five hundred aging boys dreaming as hard as they could for fifteen years, transfiguring their insecurities and delusions, their wishes and their doubts, their public education and their sexual perversions, into something that only the most purblind of societies would have denied the status of art.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • Most of all, he loved [comic books] for the pictures and the stories they contained, the inspiration and lucubration of five hundred aging boys dreaming as hard as they could for fifteen years, transfiguring their insecurities and delusions, their wishes and their doubts, their public education and their sexual perversions, into something that only the most purblind of societies would have denied the status of art.

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

  • I would like to have a meditation, a rumination, a lucubration, a bombination, about the prostate.

    Writing about the certainty of death

  • I would like to have a meditation, a rumination, a lucubration, a bombination, about the prostate.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • The foxed corners and their yellowing hue recalled the nightmarish quality of those hours, his feverish lucubration, searching for their order, for their signification.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • The foxed corners and their yellowing hue recalled the nightmarish quality of those hours, his feverish lucubration, searching for their order, for their signification.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • Mr. Charming is a boon, and we would not have missed his lucubration on any account.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 12, No. 33, December, 1873

  • The present lucubration being intended as a warning not to move from _one_ home till another is secured; the next will be an example how country quarters are enjoyed, and a description of how pale cheeks are turned into red ones by living in the open air.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845

Comments

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  • I read this recently in a letter from John Ruskin, a lovely put-down to art critics he found ignorant.

    February 11, 2007

  • Studying assiduously throughout the night. A nocturnal devotee to academia.

    October 6, 2007

  • Would a devoted researcher for K-Y Jelly do "lubrication lucubration?"

    October 24, 2007

  • His irascibility increased towards the end...

    Missionaries visited him clutching 'Good News' bibles. You are importunate. Return to your corrugated-iron chapels and crave forgiveness of your wretched deity for disturbing the lucubrations of a bad hat.

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    n.b. this citation is a lucubration.

    July 4, 2008

  • "The latter appeared, surprised in the midst of her lucubrations." Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge

    February 22, 2012

  • Addison elsewhere bemoans the fate of sound yet slovenly printed works. “We have already seen the Memoirs of Sir William Temple published in the same character and volume with the history of Tom Thumb, and the works of our greatest poets shrunk into penny books and garlands. For my own part, I expect to see my lucubrations printed on browner paper than they are at present . . ..”

    June 28, 2014