Definition of nocturnal in English:



  • Done, occurring, or active at night.

    ‘most owls are nocturnal’
    • ‘They are nocturnal hunters and feed mainly on small mammals like mice, rats, voles and shrews.’
    • ‘The echidna is a nocturnal animal which means it only comes out at night and it is rare to see one during the day.’
    • ‘Visitor night tours to view these nocturnal creatures have also been sketched in for the future.’
    • ‘Prior to my night of nocturnal mutterings two other rather aggravating events took place.’
    • ‘Being naturally nocturnal and excellent at hiding, they're all able to keep a low profile.’
    • ‘Once a diurnal mammal, the dugong is now nocturnal as it forages for food.’
    • ‘She even attempted a little nocturnal grave robbery in order to unearth the final proof from Shakespeare's tomb.’
    • ‘She and her kind are shy, nocturnal animals, usually hiding deep in burrows and rarely seen in the wild.’
    • ‘The spider is solitary and nocturnal and will bite only as a last resort, but people who are hypersensitive to the venom may be at risk.’
    • ‘No because I'm nocturnal and by the time my ears are awake enough to listen to music everyone else is asleep.’
    • ‘The second reason for the interest in owls is that they are beautiful to look at and most of them are nocturnal which means that they hunt at night.’
    • ‘She was reasonably nocturnal and could stay awake all night when really necessary.’
    • ‘Saved from his crazy nocturnal adventure, he sets about building a microlight aircraft shaped like a dragonfly.’
    • ‘I take Advair, but it has had no noticeable effect on my nocturnal asthma, which is my main concern.’
    • ‘Owl boxes have been put up around the site to attract the nocturnal predators and there are plans for more bird boxes as the trees flourish.’
    • ‘Worse, his landlady was taking a nocturnal interest in his activities.’
    • ‘Max has the night beat, circling a nocturnal but always active Los Angeles.’
    • ‘Hamsters are nocturnal although they are sometimes active during the day.’
    • ‘I've seen a few city foxes during my nocturnal walks around Birmingham and always mistake them for big cats or small dogs.’
    • ‘Now sleeping is one of my favourite hobbies, so you can imagine the state I'm in after all this nocturnal wrestling.’
    nocturnal, night-time, at night
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Late 15th century: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus of the night, from nox, noct- night.