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[mid-nahyt] /ˈmɪdˌnaɪt/
the middle of the night; twelve o'clock at night.
of or relating to midnight.
resembling midnight, as in darkness.
burn the midnight oil, to study or work far into the night:
After months of burning the midnight oil, he really needed a vacation.
Origin of midnight
before 900; Middle English; Old English midniht. See mid-, night
Related forms
midnightly, adjective, adverb
postmidnight, adjective
premidnight, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for midnight
  • At midnight my temporary respite from blindness would cease, and permanent night would close in on me again.
  • He promised that the night market, with food stalls and music, would close at midnight.
  • Meteor showers are nearly always better after midnight, and are usually best in the wee hours before sunrise.
  • Doing the sleepy-time math, this means you need to get to sleep before midnight.
  • They use a clock to represent our current time, where midnight is complete catastrophe.
  • New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.
  • Every day, it's one second behind, clicking over to midnight one second after the first clock does.
  • When at midnight they returned to town they were both glad.
  • To be a wall with a damper a stream of pounding way and nearly enough choice makes a steady midnight.
  • Shortly before midnight, some of them entered a nearby abandoned building.
British Dictionary definitions for midnight


  1. the middle of the night; 12 o'clock at night
  2. (as modifier): the midnight hour
burn the midnight oil, to work or study late into the night
Derived Forms
midnightly, adjective, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for midnight

Old English mid-niht, or middre niht (with dative). See mid + night. Midnight oil symbolizing "late night work" is attested from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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