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Please help me figure out the meaning of the word "evening-in" in the following sentence from the description of the game Golf Clash:

Mark Twain described golf as “a good walk spoiled”, but you should think of Golf Clash as an evening-in enhanced.

I could not find a single entry of the word "evening-in" in dictionaries.

For some context, here is a brief description of the game from a different source:

In the game, players compete against each other in real-time, turn-based golf matches of about 4-5 minutes that feel like contests of Golden Tee, the classic bar room arcade game.

Thank you for your time.

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The meaning of "evening-in" here is an evening spent at home. The claim is that one's evening spent at home will be enhanced by playing the game. "Evening-in" won't be in a dictionary, because it's a "nonce word", created in the moment of writing for just that use. The writer used a hyphen to make it clear that he intended the collocation to be regarded as a noun, meaning an evening spent at home. The entire phrase "an evening-in enhanced" is intended to be parallel to Mark Twain's "a good walk spoiled".

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    I've heard an "evening in" and an "evening out" many times before, so to me at least it isn't a nonce word, unless you are perhaps referring specifically to the hypenated form. Might be a good question for sister site English Language & Usage. – J W May 21 at 14:09
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    I did mean the hyphenated form, which I think prevents the possible garden path of "... in enhanced ? ". The compound also becomes a noun followed by a participle adjective (enhanced), more parallel to "a good walk spoiled". – Jack O'Flaherty May 21 at 15:29
  • It may also be the case that modern standards for hyphenation seem quite relaxed (or at least very different) compared to prior usages. Modern usage seems a bit rare, and I doubt I'll ever see "to-morrow" outside of an older piece of writing. – Upper_Case May 21 at 21:35
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    @JW: It's is generally accepted to use hyphens (when the defined words themselves do not normally contain them) if it disambiguates the structure of the sentence, as is the case here. – Flater May 21 at 21:54
  • Of course they could have just written enhanced evening in and avoided the problem entirely. – Asteroids With Wings May 22 at 17:44
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I haven't seen it hyphenated before, but it clearly means "an evening in", i.e. "an evening spent at home".

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  • The movie make this impossible to find. +1 – Mazura May 21 at 5:53
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    @Mazura: which movie? – J W May 21 at 14:04
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    The hyphen expresses what is enhanced is the evening (spent) in(side). If it was not hyphenated, then I would read "...as an evening in enhanced" and it would seem incomplete (as if "enhanced" was an adjective without a paired noun). An evening in an enhanced what? Enhanced bliss? Interestingly, I think if it had read "...as an enhanced evening in" (ie, without the hyphen) I would understand it because there is nothing after the "in" which implies the correct sense. – Kenster999 May 21 at 20:46
  • Yes, I can see why it's been done. But it's not usual. I think if I were writing it, I would put a comma after "in", instead. – Colin Fine May 21 at 22:22
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    @JW - An Evening in Paris - The first three hits if you google an evening in, with three clips of the movie in the way on top. Google has learned that when I search I'm looking for a definition. With this it's as bad Siri trying to sell me stuff on iTunes. – Mazura May 21 at 22:59
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You ran into trouble looking up "evening-in" because it's not actually what most people would say. If you enter "an evening in" (with the quotes) into Google, you get 5.31M hits (with or without the hyphen). If you enter "a night in" you get 48.6M and the very first hit is a definition of the phrase. Note that I made a point of including the article (an/a), because it is part of the idiom. Using articles in English -- not merely correctly, but colloquially -- is important if you want to master the language.

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