Does it make sense to say that something waited until the "arrival of nightfall"? It sounds a little awkward (maybe because nightfall occurs rather than arrives?). Perhaps there is a better way to say it...

  • but then "crack of dawn" would also be incorrect
    – rest_day
    Jun 21, 2011 at 22:07
  • @rest_day - "crack of dawn" is such a well-entrenched expression that it would be 'correct' even if it were wrong.
    – Dave
    Jun 21, 2011 at 22:10
  • Same here. This is also a well used expression.
    – rest_day
    Jun 21, 2011 at 22:15
  • "Something awaited dusk" or possibly "something awaited twilight"?
    – user9682
    Jun 21, 2011 at 22:29

4 Answers 4


"Arrival of" is not necessary at all (nightfall means "the beginning of night" so, you'd be saying "the arrival of the beginning of night") and is awkward:

Something waited until nightfall.

Is the way to express that.


"Fall of night" is an idiom for this time, but waiting for the "arrival of nightfall" (or just "nightfall", as noted by somebody else) isn't wrong.

  • When you say that is a common idiom, do you mean in a literary, or a colloquial context? I have never heard "fall of night" in conversation, and all the Google hits seem to be about a Babylon 5 episode.
    – JeffSahol
    Jun 21, 2011 at 22:37
  • @JeffSahol, I've heard it in conversation but from your Google results perhaps my experience is unusual. I've edited my reply. Jun 21, 2011 at 23:01

I would probably reformulate

waiting until the arrival of nightfall


waiting until night falls

which is somewhat less awkward. But an even simpler way to express this might be

waiting until sundown

which is cleaner (to my ear, anyway.) The most common way to express the idea is probably

waiting until evening

at the cost of some specificity.


Most commonly in conversational English, you would say 'I waited until it was night time.'

Slightly less commonly, you could say 'I waited for/until nightfall.'

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