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1 the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun's rays from the atmosphere: she looked out on the beautiful twilight.
• the period of the evening when twilight takes place, between daylight and darkness: a pleasant walk in the woods at twilight.
2 [in singular] a period or state of obscurity, ambiguity, or gradual decline: he was in the twilight of his career | [as modifier] : a twilight world of secrecy.
1 we reached the village by twilight: DUSK, early evening, evening, close of day; sunset, sundown, nightfall; literary eventide, the gloaming; rare owl light, crepuscule, crepuscle, evenfall. ANTONYMS dawn, daybreak
2 it was scarcely visible in the evening twilight: HALF-LIGHT, semidarkness, dimness, gloom.
3 he was approaching the twilight of his career: DECLINE, waning, downturn, ebb; autumn, final years, closing years, last years. ANTONYMS peak, height
a twilight world: SHADOWY, dark, twilit, shady, dim, gloomy, obscure; literary darkling, darksome, crepuscular.
late Middle English: from Old English twi- ‘two’(used in an obscure sense in this compound) + light.
Last week's word
leap year /liːp jɪər/
2020 is a leap year.
A year, occurring once every four years, that has 366 days including February 29 as an intercalary day.
A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a calendar year containing an additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.
late Middle English: probably from the fact that feast days after February in such a year fell two days later than in the previous year, rather than one day later as in other years, and could be said to have ‘leaped’ a day.