nocturnal


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to nocturnal: nocturnal emission, nocturnal enuresis

nocturnal

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

Nocturnal

(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.

Sources:

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.

nocturnal

[näk′tərn·əl]
(biology)
Active during the nighttime.
(science and technology)
Occurring during the nighttime.
References in classic literature ?
Upon gaining this advantage D'Artagnan was near uttering a cry of surprise; it was not Aramis who was conversing with the nocturnal visitor, it was a woman
Thus, then, did these three worthies embark in their cockleshell of a skiff upon this nocturnal expedition, with a wisdom and valor equaled only by the three wise men of Gotham,[1] who adventured to sea in a bowl.
I will tell, too, of the great nocturnal white thing--to this day we do not know whether it was beast or reptile--which lived in a vile swamp to the east of the lake, and flitted about with a faint phosphorescent glimmer in the darkness.
But he was mercifully too accustomed to nocturnal orgies, and those of a far more uproarious character, to appear unless summoned to the scene.
As he stood there he began to murmur Byron's famous lines, out of "Manfred," but before he had finished his quotation he remembered that if nocturnal meditations in the Colosseum are recommended by the poets, they are deprecated by the doctors.
With nightfall had begun the nocturnal concert of animals driven from their hiding-places by hunger and thirst.
There were then in circulation, strange stories of a surly monk, a nocturnal prowler about the streets of Paris, and they recurred confusedly to his memory.
He searched the ground below the tree, and he searched the tree above the ground; but there was no sign of either bow or arrows or of the nocturnal marauder.
Then quietly the electric lights came on again, and an uproar of nocturnal newsvendors began in the streets.
When Princess Mary returned to her room after her nocturnal talk with Pierre, Natasha met her on the threshold.
Her actions when thus engaged were furtive and secretive, like those of some nocturnal animal.
She no longer believed in the weird soul transmigration that the therns had taught her before she was rescued from their clutches by John Carter; but she well knew the horrid fate that awaited her should one of the terrible beasts chance to spy her during its nocturnal prowlings.