the middle of the night; twelve o'clock at night.


of or relating to midnight.
resembling midnight, as in darkness.


    burn the midnight oil, to study or work far into the night: After months of burning the midnight oil, he really needed a vacation.

Origin of midnight

before 900; Middle English; Old English midniht. See mid-, night
Related formsmid·night·ly, adjective, adverbpost·mid·night, adjectivepre·mid·night, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for post-midnight

Contemporary Examples of post-midnight

Historical Examples of post-midnight

  • Over the sparkling snows the post-midnight sun glowed like at noon.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • Somewhat beyond this they made their post-midnight meal, and were once more light-hearted and care-free.

    Stranded in Arcady

    Francis Lynde

  • To bed; but, for a long hour after the post-midnight quiet had settled down upon the great hostelry, not to sleep.

  • All of which has little to do, apparently, with my post-midnight walk in that freezing weather.

    Tales From Bohemia

    Robert Neilson Stephens

British Dictionary definitions for post-midnight



  1. the middle of the night; 12 o'clock at night
  2. (as modifier)the midnight hour
burn the midnight oil to work or study late into the night
Derived Formsmidnightly, adjective, adverb
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 post-midnight



Old English mid-niht, or middre niht (with dative). See mid + night. Midnight oil symbolizing "late night work" is attested from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper