- a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather, especially in autumn.
- a thread or a web of this substance.
- an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used especially for veils.
- any thin, light fabric.
- something extremely light, flimsy, or delicate.
- a thin, waterproof outer garment, especially for women.
- Also gos·sa·mer·y [gos-uh-muh-ree] /ˈgɒs ə mə ri/, gos·sa·mered. of or like gossamer; thin and light.
Origin of gossamer
- a gauze or silk fabric of the very finest texture
- a filmy cobweb often seen on foliage or floating in the air
- anything resembling gossamer in fineness or filminess
- (modifier) made of or resembling gossamergossamer wings
Word Origin and History for gossamery
c.1300, "spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall," apparently from gos "goose" + sumer "summer" (cf. Swedish sommertrad "summer thread"). The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down, or because geese are in season then. The German equivalent mädchensommer (literally "girls' summer") also has a sense of "Indian summer," and the English word originally may have referred to a warm spell in autumn before being transferred to a phenomenon especially noticable then. Cf. obsolete Scottish go-summer "period of summer-like weather in late autumn." Meaning "anything light or flimsy" is from c.1400. The adjective sense "filmy" is attested from 1802.