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  1. this present or coming night; the night of this present day.
  1. on this present night; on the night of this present day.
  2. Obsolete. during last night.

Origin of tonight

before 1000; Middle English to night, Old English tō niht. See to, night
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tonight

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • So farewell, Katy, we're due to burst into high society tonight.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "The dead are restless tonight," said Simba, poking the fire.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • But, tonight, he was not seeing these symbols of material superiority.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • But hadn't her intuition been justified, after all, by the very man she had seen tonight?


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • But then, when it came to a show-down she might not be so magnanimous as she had appeared tonight.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

British Dictionary definitions for tonight


  1. the night or evening of this present day
  1. in or during the night or evening of this day
  2. archaic last night

Word Origin

Old English tōniht, from to 1 (at) + night
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

Word Origin and History for tonight

Old English toniht "tomorrow night" (Anglo-Saxon day began at sunset), from to "at, on" (see to) + niht (see night). Written as two words until 18c., after which it was to-night until early 20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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