[ nok-turn ]
/ ˈnɒk tɜrn /

noun Music.

a piece appropriate to the night or evening.
an instrumental composition of a dreamy or pensive character.


Nearby words

  1. nocturnal arc,
  2. nocturnal emission,
  3. nocturnal enuresis,
  4. nocturnal myoclonus,
  5. nocturnally,
  6. nocuous,
  7. nocuously,
  8. nod,
  9. nod off,
  10. nod out

Origin of nocturne

From the French word nocturne, dating back to 1860–65. See nocturn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nocturne

British Dictionary definitions for nocturne


/ (ˈnɒktɜːn) /


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

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