• A fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, seen especially in autumn.
  • Used to refer to something very light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate.

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Example Sentences

“Those curtains are gossamer and won’t block any light in the morning.” 

“The gossamer of a large, intricate spiderweb draped over the railing.”

“The wings on Mandy’s fairy costume were iridescent gossamer.”

Word Origin

Middle English, 13th century

Why this word?

While a large, honking goose might not call to mind a diaphanous, filmy gossamer material, they are related. The noun (and sometimes adjective) “gossamer” may have come from the Middle English term “goose summer,” from the time of year around “St Martin’s summer,” or late October and early November, when geese were typically eaten. Today, it describes the spiderwebs seen around that time of year, or any such thin, light, floaty material.

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