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[ahrk-too r-uh s, -tyoo r-] /ɑrkˈtʊər əs, -ˈtyʊər-/
noun, Astronomy.
a first-magnitude star in the constellation Boötes.
Origin of Arcturus
1352-75; < Latin < Greek Arktoûros, equivalent to árkt(os) bear + -oûros keeper; replacing Middle English arture < Middle French
Related forms
Arcturian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for arcturian
Historical Examples
  • It was a gentle dig at his arcturian homeland, which was smaller than most planets.

    Youth Isaac Asimov
  • For twenty-four hours on that arcturian planet, I would give my life.

    A Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay
  • They are of a spectral type approximately solar; no Orion, Sirian or arcturian stars having been found among them.

    Astronomical Curiosities J. Ellard Gore
  • It was forty feet long, eight wide, and eight high; the tank containing the arcturian back rays was in front, the car behind.

    A Voyage to Arcturus David Lindsay
British Dictionary definitions for arcturian


the brightest star in the constellation Boötes: a red giant. Visual magnitude: –0.4; spectral type: K2III; distance: 37 light years
Derived Forms
Arcturian, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from Greek Arktouros, from arktos bear + ouros guard, keeper
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for arcturian


late 14c., bright star in the constellation Bootes (also used of the whole constellation), from Latin Arcturus, from Greek Arktouros; anciently associated with the Bear, and its name is Greek for "guardian of the bear." See arctic; second element is from ouros "watcher, guardian, ward" (see warrant (n.)).

Arcturus in the Bible (Job ix:9 and xxxviii:32) is a mistranslation by Jerome (continued in KJV) of Hebrew 'Ayish, which actually refers to the "bowl" of the Big Dipper. In Israel and Arabia, the seven stars of the Great Bear seem to have been a bier (the "bowl") followed by three mourners. In the Septuagint it was translated as Pleiada, which is equally incorrect. The double nature of the great bear/wagon (see Big Dipper) has given two different names to the constellation that follows it: Arktouros "bear-ward" and bootes "the wagoner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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arcturian in Science
A giant star in the constellation Boötes. It is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere and the fourth brightest star in the sky, with an apparent magnitude of 0.00. Scientific name: Alpha Boötes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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