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Dusk in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Evening in Parambikkulam, Kerala, India
View on the bay of Naples, overlooking Mount Vesuvius at 7:30 pm local solar/standard time

Evening is the period of time at the end of the day, usually from about 5 P.M. or 6 P.M. to night.[1][2] It is a daily astronomic event of variable time period between daytime and night, and the period in which the daylight is decreasing, after the afternoon and before night. There is no exact time for when evening begins and ends (equally true with night). Although the term is subjective, evening is typically understood to begin shortly before sunset[3] and during twilight (sunset and twilight vary throughout the year),[4] lasting until night – typically astronomical sunset. There can be no precise definition in terms of clock time, but it is socially considered to start around 5 P.M. or 6 P.M. and to last until night or bed-time.[1][5]


The word is derived from the Old English ǣfnung, meaning 'the coming of evening, sunset, time around sunset', which originated from 'æfnian' meaning 'become evening, grow toward evening'. The Old English, 'æfnian' originated from 'æfen' (eve), which meant 'the time between sunset and darkness', and was synonymous with even (Old English æfen) which meant the end of the day. The use of evening dates from the mid 15th century.[6]

Significance for humans[edit]

Some languages that use the time of day in greeting have a special greeting for evening, such as the English "good evening". Typically people do not leave somebody and say "good evening". Even if it isn't night yet, when one greets someone, they can greet them with "good evening" and when they leave, they say "good night", rather than saying "good evening" as a farewell, despite that it may still be night.[7] Many people greet someone with the shortened "evening" rather than "good evening". Social and family activities are often held during this time, such as supper or more formal social gatherings and entertainment, such as parties, in particular dance parties.


  1. ^ a b "Definition of evening in English". Collins. Collins. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  2. ^ "evening - Definition of evening in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English.
  3. ^ "evening - Dictionary Definition".
  4. ^ "Sunrise and sunset times in London". www.timeanddate.com.
  5. ^ "evening - Definition of evening in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English.
  6. ^ "even - Origin and meaning of even by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com.
  7. ^ "When to say Good Morning – Afternoon – Evening – Night. When do the afternoon end and the evening start? — Центр Европейских и Восточных Языков. Курсы. Контрактовая, Олимпийская". Центр Европейских и Восточных Языков. Курсы. Контрактовая, Олимпийская.

External links[edit]

  • Quotations related to Evening at Wikiquote
  • Media related to Evening at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]