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 legend that the gossamer was the remnant of the Virgin Mary's winding sheet, which dropped from her when she was taken up to heaven. For the use of summer in the sense of film or threads, cf. G. M["a]dchensommer, Altweibersommer, fliegender Sommer, all meaning, gossamer.] [1913 Webster] 1. A fine, filmy substance, like cobwebs, floating in the air, in calm, clear weather, especially in autumn. It is seen in stubble fields and on furze or low bushes, and is formed by small spiders. [1913 Webster]

2. Any very thin gauzelike fabric; also, a thin waterproof stuff. [1913 Webster]

3. An outer garment, made of waterproof gossamer. [1913 Webster]

{Gossamer spider} (Zo["o]l.), any small or young spider which spins webs by which to sail in the air. See {Ballooning spider}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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 — (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 …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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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