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Jul 23, 2015
This week’s theme
Words related to Pluto and its moons

This week’s words
plutonian
hydra
cerberus
nocturnal
stygian

Gray slender loris
Gray slender loris, a nocturnal animal
Photo: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

nocturnal

PRONUNCIATION:
(nok-TUHR-nuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Relating to, happening, or active at night.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin nocturnalis (of the night), from nox (night). Earliest documented use: 1485.

NOTES:
Pluto’s moon Nix is named after Nyx, the ancient Greek goddess personifying night. In Roman mythology she’s known as Nox. The Latin word for night, nox, also appears in such words as equinox (equal day and night) and noctambulation (sleepwalking).

USAGE:
“Getting around London late at night used to be expensive or time-consuming. Nocturnal groundlings can now get home more cheaply and reliably.”
After Dark; The Economist (London, UK); Oct 4, 2014.

See more usage examples of nocturnal in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (23 Jul 1888-1959)

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