"owl which flies at night," 1590s; applied since 1846 (American English) to persons who are up or out late at night. Compare night-hawk, also French hirondelle de nuit "prostitute," literally "night-swallow."
1796, slang, said by Grose to be an old term of reproach to a woman signifying that she was a witch; used from 1823 in reference to anyone who departs hastily from a recent activity, especially while owing money. The different senses involve the two verbs fly.
also nocti-, word-forming element meaning "night, by night, at night," from Latin nox (genitive noctis) "night," from PIE *nekwt- "night" (see night).
early 15c., "pertaining to the faculty of sight;" also "coming from the eye or sight" (as a beam of light was thought to do), from Late Latin visualis "of sight," from Latin visus "a sight, a looking; power of sight; things seen, appearance," from visus, past participle of videre "to see" (see vision). Meaning "perceptible by sight" is from late 15c; sense of "relating to vision" is first attested c. 1600. The noun meaning "photographic film or other visual display" is first recorded 1944.