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90s Slang You Should Know


[nok-turn] /ˈnɒk tɜrn/
noun, Music.
a piece appropriate to the night or evening.
an instrumental composition of a dreamy or pensive character.
Origin of nocturne
From the French word nocturne, dating back to 1860-65. See nocturn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nocturne
Historical Examples
  • She became silent at that, and for a time the low sweet harmonies of the nocturne Penelope was playing filled the gap.

    The Grafters Francis Lynde
  • In fact it is so popular that when any one is asked to play "Chopin's nocturne," this one is meant.

    The Pianolist Gustav Kobb
  • The (p. 305) 'nocturne in black and gold,' I do not think a serious work of art.

    The Gentle Art of Making Enemies James McNeill Whistler
  • The yacht in nocturne is the yacht I want, ought to have, and never shall have.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street Grant Martin Overton
  • He had a supper by appointment, but began to write his nocturne and forgot all about the time.

    The Socialist Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • Before the end of the nocturne carriage bells are heard outside.

  • I could not appreciate their mental pleasures, any more than a savage could delight in a nocturne of Chopin.

    Mizora: A Prophecy Mary E. Bradley
  • A nocturne—yes; it was getting dark, and the sea was rising—that was the sound of the sea.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • I shall, without your permission, and probably to your disgust, play a nocturne by John Field.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
  • Lady Constance sat down at the piano and began the nocturne.

    The Socialist Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
British Dictionary definitions for nocturne


a short, lyrical piece of music, esp one for the piano
a painting or tone poem of a night scene
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 nocturne

1862, "composition of a dreamy character," from French nocturne, literally "composition appropriate to the night," noun use of Old French nocturne "nocturnal," from Latin nocturnus (see nocturnal). Said to have been coined c.1814 by John Field, who wrote many of them, in a style that Chopin mastered in his own works, which popularized the term.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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