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Word of the Day
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Definitions for lucubration

  1. The act of studying by candlelight; nocturnal study; meditation.
  2. That which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition.

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Citations for lucubration
A point of information for those with time on their hands: if you were to read 135 books a day, every day, for a year, you wouldn't finish all the books published annually in the United States. Now add to this figure, which is upward of 50,000, the 100 or so literary magazines; the scholarly, political and scientific journals (there are 142 devoted to sociology alone), as well as the glossy magazines, of which bigger and shinier versions are now spawning, and you'll appreciate the amount of lucubration that finds its way into print. Arthur Krystal, New York Times
One of his characters is given to lucubration. "Things die on us," he reflects as he lies in bed, "we die on each other, we die of ourselves." , New York Times
Origin of lucubration
Lucubration comes from Latin lucubratus, past participle of lucubrare, "to work by night, composed at night (as by candlelight)," ultimately connected with lux, "light." Hence it is related to lucent, "shining, bright," and lucid, "clear." The verb form is lucubrate.