I am looking for a term to replace formulations like "the activities of the morning", "the rituals pertinent to the morning", "the morning report" (that one is from the Lion King, I couldn't resist). I tried perusing the internet search engines of my knowledge, including some searches on merriam webster's website, but I can't get a hold of what I am looking for. In fact, I will eat a better breakfast and pray every morning, now.

search results for pertinent to the morning

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    – tchrist
    Mar 3, 2020 at 2:28

4 Answers 4


matutinal adjective [formal]

happening in the morning:

  • We chatted over our matutinal coffee.

[Cambridge Dictionary]

Though normal people have morning coffee.

  • 13
    I don't think I or anybody in my family would be able to pay for matutinal coffee.
    – thymaro
    Feb 23, 2020 at 14:09
  • 8
    @Lambie I think I said that; OP does also ask for a corresponding term to 'diurnal'. Feb 23, 2020 at 19:35
  • 2
    'Though normal people have morning coffee' was saying 'matutinal is highly literary' in a way that's not highly literary (or really, formal; it's doubtless used in some sciences). Feb 23, 2020 at 19:53
  • 21
    +1 for "normal people have morning coffee". :)
    – Marthaª
    Feb 23, 2020 at 19:58
  • 1
    Matutinal? I can't spell 'morning' before .... Feb 23, 2020 at 20:07

I think I would use matinal, which the OED holds to have the same meaning as matutinal. However the latter they designate as now chiefly literary.

The examples they provide, for matinal across three main senses, are as follows:

  1. = matutinal adj. 1.

1803 M. Charlton Wife & Mistress (ed. 2) II. i. 11 To attend the matinal déjeuné's of old Gruffy in town.

1860 Ld. Lytton Lucile ii. v. §9. 30 The matinal chirp of a bird.

1862 Mrs. H. Wood Channings II. 74 Believing it could be nobody less than the bishop come to alarm them with a matinal visit.

1908 J. Davidson Testament 37 The earth with its seas and its skies, Its flowers and its matinal dew.

1991 E. S. Connell Alchymist's Jrnl. (1992) 100 Wounds contracted past noon are less auspicious than matinal injuries.

  1. a. = matutinal adj. 2.

1819 H. Busk Vestriad v. 276 The grey-ey'd Hours climb up the starry way To meet fair maidens matinal as they.

1842 F. Trollope Visit to Italy I. xiv. 219 As if my very matinal son and myself had constituted the whole party. 1997 Church Times 11 Apr. 20/3 I am, metabolically speaking, one of Bishop Heber's sons of the morning: a matinal man who is fast asleep before the epilogue. b. Entomology. Of, relating to, or designating insects that are only active in the early morning.

1970 Jrnl. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 43 251 (title) Some competitive relationships among matinal and late afternoon foraging activities of caupolicanine bees.

1985 Biotropica 17 217 Visitors that remove nectar, but are ineffective pollinators include seven Euglossa spp. and three species of matinal butterflies (Hesperiidae).

1997 Jrnl. Thermal Biol. 22 453 Activity patterns are..either matinal, crepuscular, or bimodal; essentially desert bees avoid heat and adapt to cold desert dawns and dusks.


Why not use "matin", as in "matins" (morning devotions)? I would even use "matinal", though it might not be in every dictionary. "My usual matinal activities always include breakfast and prayers."

  • 2
    would you have sources for that? Personally, I like it, having partially grown up in French, but is it also English? Or have you just made it an English word? :)
    – thymaro
    Feb 23, 2020 at 14:08
  • 1
    Actually, this seems to be a false friend. In English the meaning seems to be different than in French, merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matinal, merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matins
    – thymaro
    Feb 23, 2020 at 14:13
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    matins is a liturgical hour and is not matutinal.
    – Lambie
    Feb 23, 2020 at 17:36
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    @thymaro, the first link you give lists meaning (2) as 'early', so it seems to be not so false a friend.
    – LSpice
    Feb 24, 2020 at 0:31
  • 1
    @thymaro, probably you are right. I interpreted 'false friend' in the more restrictive sense that they are similar-sounding words that mean different things (Wiki), not just in the broader sense that they are not literal translations of one another.
    – LSpice
    Feb 24, 2020 at 19:42

If you're willing to be obscure, "auroral" can mean "of or pertaining to the dawn" (from the Roman goddess of the dawn), though this usage is swamped by the atmospheric phenomenon. The variant "aurorean" is more restricted to the dawn meaning, but is also even more obscure.

(The Cambridge dictionary doesn't have the dawn meaning nor "aurorean"; Merriam-Webster does.)

  • Interestingly, it seems the goddess Aurora was derived from the Latin goddess Matuta, who is the origin of all the matinal, matutinal type answers..
    – mcalex
    Feb 26, 2020 at 3:44

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