Italian word of the day: ‘Crepuscolo’

Italian word of the day: 'Crepuscolo'
It's a beautiful word for a beautiful thing. Do you know what this one means?

Today's word is for the romantics, and the photographers.

It’s the most magical moment of the day. Those last few moments of fading, uncertain light before the sky becomes fully dark.

That’s right, al crepuscolo means at dusk, or at twilight.

– la luce del crepuscolo

– twilight

Right after il tramonto (the sunset) and before al calare del buio (darkness falls)

– Ha detto che sarebbe arrivato prima del crepuscolo.

– He said that he'd be here by nightfall.

Like twilight, it can also describe the moments just before l’alba (dawn)

And like all the best Italian words, it can be used in other contexts to add a little drama. It's sometimes taken to mean that something is falling, weakening, or declining.

– il crepuscolo della civiltà

– the decline of civilization

It’s a little different than the word crepuscular in English, which has the same Latin root and is an adjective describing something connected to twilight. But it’s rarely ever heard outside the worlds of zoology and highbrow literature.

Crepuscolo is something people actually say in Italian; though it is a little flowery even in this language.

And in Italian, if someone uses the adjective form crepuscolare, it means something is hazy or unclear.

– Un sentimento crepuscolare

– A vague feeling

– luce crepuscolare

– twilight

We think it’s much nicer to say than vago (vague) or incerto (uncertain)

But one thing we are sure of is that you’ll never be stuck for a poetic way to describe the half-light in Italian.

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