gossamery


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gos·sa·mer

 (gŏs′ə-mər)
n.
1. A fine film of cobwebs that is often seen floating in the air or is caught on bushes or grass.
2. Something that is light, delicate, or sheer, such as fabric.
adj.
Sheer, light, or delicate: "An iron bedstead swathed in gossamer muslin stands out from all walls, adrift as a cloud" (Margo Miller). See Synonyms at airy.

[Middle English gossomer : gos, goose; see goose + somer, summer (probably from the abundance of gossamer during early autumn when geese migrate and are often hunted ); see summer1.]

gos′sa·mer·y adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

gossamery

adjective
So light and insubstantial as to resemble air or a thin film:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Maryknoll Sisters may have looked gossamery, wispy, and delicate, but they certainly had resolve and strength of character.
Survey with me, what ne'er our fathers saw, A female band despising Nature's law, To Gallic freaks or Gallic faith resign'd, The crane-like neck, as Fashion bids, lay bare, Or frizzle, bold in front, their borrow'd hair; Scarce by a gossamery film carest, Sport, in full view, the meretricious breast; Loose the chaste cincture, where the graces shone, And languish'd all the Loves, the ambrosial zone; And o'er the wreck of kingdoms sternly stand; And, frantic, midst the democratic storm, Pursue, Philosophy!
Neither characters' attire is particularly effective in evoking "Chinese" since the breadth of the figures and the gossamery fabrics do not follow traditional Chinese fashion patterns; Hue's costume better suggests a Middle Eastern caftan.