- 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
Examples from the Web for gossamer
"Your hints are always as delicate as gossamer," said Temple.The Incomplete Amorist
How like is the down of the fruit to the first gossamer down of the heart—and ah!
But only stoop—catch the light thwartwise—and all is a silver network of gossamer!The Golden Age
You know how they capture the creatures on which they live; by weaving webs of gossamer, is it not?The Memorabilia
The gossamer floatings of this French danseuse possessed 258 everyone.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
- 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 gossamer
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.