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[moon-lahyt] /ˈmunˌlaɪt/
the light of the moon.
pertaining to moonlight.
illuminated by moonlight.
occurring by moonlight, or at night.
verb (used without object), moonlighted, moonlighting.
to work at an additional job after one's regular, full-time employment, as at night.
Origin of moonlight
1325-75; 1950-55 for def 5; Middle English monelight
Related forms
moonlighter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for moonlight
  • So sad that professors have to moonlight but clearly, this was not a good choice.
  • If so, it is only because what becomes known is that a university professor needs to moonlight.
  • Most years, because of their brief duration, moonlight or cloudy conditions obscure the show.
  • We were up in the middle of the night fishing, and exploring the island by moonlight.
  • It was at low tide, sunk to a twisting channel between flanks of mud glinting with moonlight.
  • They were the tears of heaven, the eyes of spirits, raindrops filled with moonlight.
  • In bright moonlight, it's easy enough to see the road ahead, but not at all easy to see what's in the shadows.
  • To say that moonlight has no physical effect on humans is self-contradictory.
  • At night, panther eyes appear to glow from moonlight reflected off an iridescent membrane in the retina.
  • Many things could affect the movement of a coral larva, including the tides, moonlight and enticing smells.
British Dictionary definitions for moonlight


Also called moonshine. light from the sun received on earth after reflection by the moon
(modifier) illuminated by the moon: a moonlight walk
short for moonlight flit
verb -lights, -lighting, -lighted
(intransitive) (informal) to work at a secondary job, esp at night, and often illegitimately
Derived Forms
moonlighter, noun
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 moonlight

"hold a second job, especially at night," 1957 (implied in moonlighting), from moonlighter (1954), from the notion of working by the light of the moon; see moonlight (n.). Related: Moonlighting. Earlier the word had been used to mean "commit crimes at night" (1882).


"light of the moon," mid-14c., from moon (n.) + light (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for moonlight



To work at a job in addition to one's regular job: a million guys moonlighting, holding a little back (1957+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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