the time between evening and morning.


occurring, done, presented, etc., during the night, especially the hours before midnight.

Compare daytime.

Origin of nighttime

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at night, time Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for night-time

Contemporary Examples of night-time

Historical Examples of night-time

  • Yet the voice of Plato would be pleasant to my ears, as music on the waters in the night-time.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Passed, like a gleam of lightning over the west in the night-time.


    William D. Howells

  • Somehow, I never like to go by here alone in the night-time.


    William D. Howells

  • When he read at night-time, he would hang his lamp on a nail at the head of the bed.

  • And at night-time the little Tsar went to lie down and the tooth killed him.

British Dictionary definitions for night-time



  1. the time from sunset to sunrise; night as distinct from day
  2. (as modifier)a night-time prowler
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 night-time



also night-time, c.1400, from night + time (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper