- sunset is the point in time when the sun goes below the horizon,
- dusk (or dawn) is when you can see the higher brightness in the sky where the sun set (or will rise)
- twilight begins when you can see the first (brightest) stars in the sky, and ends when the faintest starts are visible.
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Thank you for your explanation about them.
Does sunset occur before dusk and dusk occur before twilight and so twilight is darker than dusk?
Does sunset occur before dusk (generally, yes) and dusk occur before twilight (they overlap, but twilight is sometimes described as the darker phase of dusk) and so twilight is darker than dusk (generally, yes)?
Except for sunset, the terms are subjective. In a deep valley, it might appear to be dusk before acutal sunset.
During a solar eclipse, there is an appearance of twilight.
There would not be a "dusk", because the sun is above the horizon.
AlpheccaStarsDoes sunset occur before dusk (generally, yes) and dusk occur before twilight (they overlap, but twilight is sometimes described as the darker phase of dusk) and so twilight is darker than dusk (generally, yes)?Hmm, there's a little problem. [A]
Merriam-Webster gives the opposite definition: the darker part of twilight especially at night ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dusk  ).
Other dictionaries, for example the ones at thefreedictionary.com and dictionary.com, give similar definitions. On the other hand, learner's dictionaries like OALD or LDOCE basically consider them as synonyms.
After all, that could make sense. They definitely overlap, and "twilight" has the word "light" in it, while "dusk" kind of sounds like "dark".
Sunset and (astronomical/civil/nautical) twilight have precise scientific definitions, but dusk does not. Dusk and dawn are for lovers and poets.
You can find times for these astronomical events here:
AlpheccaStars and dusk occur before twilight (they overlap, but twilight is sometimes described as the darker phase of dusk)Hi AlpheccaStars,
Thanks again for your comment.
Do you mean dusk and twilight can mean the same thing(a period from sunset to nightfall) sometimes when you said "they overlap"?
The only precise definitions (and you can get exact timings) are:
Dawn and dusk are used only as poetic or literary terms, not scientific terms.
AlpheccaStars But these terms are really subjective.Yes. I think that there are several "synonyms" or "related words" that are actually the same for all practical purposes, even though the dictionaries often speculate on their differences or connotations. As you said, sometimes those differences and connotations might be subjective. In this case, if you use one word instead of the other, I don't think it's going to be the end of the world.
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