Gossamery



[gos-uh-mer] /ˈgɒs ə mər/

noun
1.
a fine, filmy cobweb seen on grass or bushes or floating in the air in calm weather, especially in autumn.
2.
a thread or a web of this substance.
3.
an extremely delicate variety of gauze, used especially for veils.
4.
any thin, light fabric.
5.
something extremely light, flimsy, or delicate.
6.
a thin, waterproof outer garment, especially for women.
adjective
7.
Also, gossamery
[gos-uh-muh-ree] /ˈgɒs ə mə ri/ (Show IPA), gossamered. of or like gossamer; thin and light.
/ˈɡɒsəmə/
noun
1.
a gauze or silk fabric of the very finest texture
2.
a filmy cobweb often seen on foliage or floating in the air
3.
anything resembling gossamer in fineness or filminess
4.
(modifier) made of or resembling gossamer: gossamer wings
n.

c.1300, “spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall,” apparently from gos “goose” + sumer “summer” (cf. Swedish 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 (literally “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.

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