Evening is the period of time from the end of the afternoon to the beginning of night.[1][2] Exact time when evening begins and ends (as with night) depends on location and varies throughout the year. Its earliest part of a short period is evening twilight. The word 'evening' may be casually used to include the last waning afternoon shortly before sunset. [3] [4] There can be no precise definition in terms of clock time, but it is casually considered to start as early as 5 p.m. by some, or at 6 p.m. by the OED, and to last until night or bedtime.[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

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 evening.[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.


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See also

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