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

  • adv. On or during the present or coming night.
  • n. This night or the night of this day.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The nighttime of the current day or date; this night.
  • adv. During the current day's nighttime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. On this present or coming night.
  • adv. On the last night past.
  • n. The present or the coming night; the night after the present day.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In the present night, or the night after the present day.
  • During the preceding night; last night.
  • n. The present night; the night after the present day.

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

  • adv. during the night of the present day
  • n. the present or immediately coming night


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

Middle English to night, from Old English tō niht, at night : , at, on; see to + niht, night; see night.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English tōniht.


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  • A word frequently abused by weather reports, and as a consequence, I now despise this word.

    I always check the weather in the morning so I know what to wear. Winter coat, windbreaker, or no coat at all? Sweater or t-shirt? Regular shoes, or boots? Should I bring an umbrella? A hat?

    Now, they'll give you the current temperature, and that's fine, because if you're going out now you should prepare for the weather as it exists right now. But the tricky part is the weather later, when you come back. You know what it's like when you go to work, because the weather report will tell you and you can always look outside. But what about coming home?

    The weather report will tell you the high and the low. "Today, the high will be 69 degrees." And today is simple enough. If it's the high and it's today, they're most likely referring to midday, between 12-2, when most people go to lunch. But then they'll say, "tonight, the low will be 42 degrees." Now, you could assume that tonight means the middle of the night, like after midnight. But then the same report will give you the overnight temperatures! And unless you work really late or hang out really late, that doesn't do you any good. And it doesn't resolve what "tonight" refers to.

    Is it when the sun goes down? That would make it as early as 4pm in some places. Is it when the evening begins? But does the evening start at 6pm or 8pm?

    "Tonight" certainly doesn't mean when I leave work. If I prepare for the low temperature, I'm often overdressed at 6pm. I thought maybe it was 8pm, but again, I've been overdressed. Now I check the hour-by-hour temperatures to see what it's like when I leave work, and you know when those "tonight" temperatures usually hit?


    According to, anyway. Whether there's been a big meeting amongst meteorologists to determine the exact meaning of "today" and "tonight" and "overnight" I don't know, but I'm going to guess no, because they still can't get the weather report right.

    This was all brought to you by the fact that in New York City today, the high is supposed to be 66 and the low 42.

    I don't know exactly how one dresses for that. Guess I'm using layers.

    December 3, 2009