the period of darkness between sunset and sunrise.
the beginning of this period; nightfall.
the darkness of night; the dark.
a condition or time of obscurity, ignorance, sinfulness, misfortune, etc.: the long night of European history known as the Dark Ages.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an evening used or set aside for a particular event, celebration, or other special purpose: a night on the town; poker night; New Year's Night.
of or pertaining to night: the night hours.
occurring, appearing, or seen at night: a night raid; a night bloomer.
used or designed to be used at night: to take a night coach; the night entrance.
working at night: night nurse; the night shift.
active at night: the night feeders of the jungle.
night and day, unceasingly; continually: She worked night and day until the job was done.

before 900; Middle English; Old English niht, neaht, cognate with German Nacht, Gothic nahts, Latin nox (stem noct-), Greek nýx (stem nykt-)

nightless, adjective
nightlessly, adverb
nightlike, adjective

knight, night. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
night (naɪt)
1.  the period of darkness each 24 hours between sunset and sunrise, as distinct from day
2.  (modifier) of, occurring, working, etc, at night: a night nurse
3.  the occurrence of this period considered as a unit: four nights later they left
4.  the period between sunset and retiring to bed; evening
5.  the time between bedtime and morning: she spent the night alone
6.  the weather conditions of the night: a clear night
7.  the activity or experience of a person during a night
8.  (sometimes capital) any evening designated for a special observance or function
9.  nightfall or dusk
10.  a state or period of gloom, ignorance, etc
11.  make a night of it to go out and celebrate for most of the night
12.  night and day continually: that baby cries night and day
Related: nocturnal
[Old English niht; compare Dutch nacht, Latin nox, Greek nux]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. niht (W.Saxon neaht, Anglian næht, neht), the vowel indicating that the modern word derives from oblique cases (gen. nihte, dat. niht), from P.Gmc. *nakht- (cf. O.H.G. naht, O.Fris., Du., Ger. nacht, O.N. natt, Goth. nahts), from PIE *nok(w)t- (cf. Gk. nuks "a night," L. nox, O.Ir. nochd,
Skt. naktam "at night," Lith. naktis "night," O.C.S. nosti, Rus. noch', Welsh henoid "tonight"). For spelling with -gh- see fight.
"The fact that the Aryans have a common name for night, but not for day (q.v.), is due to the fact that they reckoned by nights." [Weekley]
Cf. Ger. Weihnachten "Christmas." In early times, the day was held to begin at sunset, so O.E. monanniht "Monday night" was the night before Monday, or what we would call Sunday night. Nightclub "club open at night" is from 1894; nightspot in the same sense is from 1936. Nightstick (1887) so called because it was carried for night patrols. To work nights preserves the O.E. genitive of time. Night shift is attested from 1710 in the sense of "garment worn by a woman at night" (see shift); meaning "gang of workers employed after dark" is from 1839. Night soil "excrement" (1770) is so called because it was removed (from cesspools, etc.) after dark.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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