gossamer


gossamer
gossamer (n.) c.1300, "spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall," apparently from gos "goose" + sumer "summer" (Cf. Swed. sommertrad "summer thread"). The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down, or because geese are in season then. The German equivalent mädchensommer (lit. "girls' summer") also has a sense of "Indian summer," and the English word originally may have referred to a warm spell in autumn before being transferred to a phenomenon especially noticable then. Cf. obsolete Scottish go-summer "period of summer-like weather in late autumn." Meaning "anything light or flimsy" is from c.1400. The adjective sense "filmy" is attested from 1802.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Gossamer — can be: * Common name for spider silk * A very light, sheer, gauze like fabric, see textile manufacturing terminology * Gossamer A novel by Lois Lowry * Gossamer, a 1995 short story by Stephen Baxter, found in his collection Vacuum Diagrams, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Gossamer — Gos sa*mer, n. [OE. gossomer, gossummer, gosesomer, perh. for goose summer, from its downy appearance, or perh. for God s summer, cf. G. mariengarr gossamer, properly Mary s yarn, in allusion to the Virgin Mary. Perhaps the E. word alluded to a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gossamer — est un monstre de cartoon créé par Chuck Jones en 1946 pour un film de Warner Bros Hair Raising Hare, mettant en scène le lapin Bugs Bunny. Sommaire 1 Description 2 Première apparition 3 Voir aussi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gossamer — [gäs′əmər ēgäs′ə mər] n. [ME gosesomer, lit., goose summer: with allusion to the warm period in fall ( St. Martin s summer) when geese are in season and gossamer is chiefly noticed] 1. a filmy cobweb floating in the air or spread on bushes or… …   English World dictionary

  • gossamer — ► NOUN ▪ a fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ very fine and insubstantial. ORIGIN apparently from GOOSE(Cf. ↑goose) + SUMMER(Cf. ↑summery), perhaps from the time of year around St Martin s day (11… …   English terms dictionary

  • Gossamer — (engl., spr. góssĕmĕr), Altweibersommer (s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • gossamer — [adj] gauzy, thin airy, cobweb, delicate, diaphanous, fibrous, fine, flimsy, light, sheer, silky, tiffany, translucent, transparent; concept 606 Ant. coarse, thick …   New thesaurus

  • gossamer — n. & adj. n. 1 a filmy substance of small spiders webs. 2 delicate filmy material. 3 a thread of gossamer. adj. light and flimsy as gossamer. Derivatives: gossamered adj. gossamery adj. Etymology: ME gos(e)somer(e), app. f. GOOSE + SUMMER(1)… …   Useful english dictionary

  • gossamer — [14] It would be pleasant to think that gossamer, originally ‘fine cobwebs’, is a descendant of an earlier goose summer, but unfortunately there is not enough evidence to make this more than a conjecture. The theory goes as follows: mid autumn is …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • gossamer — [[t]gɒ̱səmə(r)[/t]] ADJ: ADJ n You use gossamer to indicate that something is very light, thin, or delicate. [LITERARY] ...the daring gossamer dresses of sheer black lace …   English dictionary


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