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1. (of animals) active at night
2. (of plants) having flowers that open at night and close by day


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Nocturnal means of or belonging to the night. In classical astrology, particular planets were classified as nocturnal or diurnal, no matter where they were in a horoscope. In contemporary astrology, planets are nocturnal if they are located below the horizon (in houses one through six). Many astrologers believe that planets above the horizon line show their influence more in the public sphere whereas planets below the horizon are more private, but this distinction clearly breaks down when considering planets in such locations as the twelfth house (a largely private house situated above the horizon). The expression nocturnal arc refers to the distance, expressed in degrees and minutes of a circle, that a planet traverses between its setting in the west and its rising in the east. Classical astrology also classified signs as diurnal (the masculine signs) and nocturnal (the feminine signs). Contemporary astrologers no longer use the expression nocturnal sign.


Bach, Eleanor. Astrology from A to Z: An Illustrated Source Book. New York: Philosophical Library, 1990.

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.


Active during the nighttime.
(science and technology)
Occurring during the nighttime.
References in periodicals archive ?
Potter and the Nocturnals tempers its youthful zeal with a sound that reaches for the fundamentals of soul and sturdy, blues-based rock.
Saturday has a rock 'n' roll edge to it as the Allman Brothers Band headlines the main stage following sets by North Mississippi Allstars, the John Butler Trio, Potter and the Nocturnals, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Click here to see Grace Potter & The Nocturnals performing "Paris (Ooh La La)" -http://www.
Who: One Family One Dollar in conjunction with Faneuil Hall Marketplace presents Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.