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2017 Word of the Year

Big Dipper

noun, Astronomy.
1.
the group of seven bright stars in Ursa Major resembling a dipper in outline.
Also called Dipper.
Origin of Big Dipper
1865-1870
First recorded in 1865-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Big Dipper
Historical Examples
  • Yes, and by the Big Dipper, I'd do it again under the same circumstances!

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She deserves a fair shake and, by the Big Dipper, she's goin' to have it!

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • By the Big Dipper, Hephzy, the sight of you is good for sore eyes!

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She raised her eyes to the window––to the little star by the Big Dipper.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • Part of him is a Big Dipper, and I think you will find him out by that.

  • Below the handle of the Big Dipper, and off to one side was the north star.

    The Stories of El Dorado

    Frona Eunice Wait
  • It is located by means of the Big Dipper which should be known to everyone.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • If you get up close you can see the Big Dipper on his left cheek.

    Tom Slade Percy K. Fitzhugh
  • I never heard of any boy or girl who didn't know the Big Dipper.

  • In what direction is the pole moving with respect to the Big Dipper?

    A Text-Book of Astronomy George C. Comstock
British Dictionary definitions for Big Dipper

big dipper

noun
1.
(in amusement parks) a narrow railway with open carriages that run swiftly over a route of sharp curves and steep inclines Also called roller coaster

Big Dipper

noun
1.
the US and Canadian name for Plough
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 Big Dipper
n.

American English name for the seven-star asterism (known in England as the plough; see Charles's Wain) in the constellation Ursa Major, first attested 1833 as simply the Dipper (sometimes Great Dipper, its companion constellation always being the Little Dipper). See dipper.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Big Dipper in Science
Big Dipper  
An asterism composed of seven stars in the constellation Ursa Major. Four stars form the bowl and three form the handle in the outline of a dipper.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Big Dipper in Culture

Big Dipper definition


A constellation in the northern sky. The two stars on the far end of the bowl of the dipper point toward the North Star. The Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear).

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for Big Dipper

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Word Value for Big

6
8
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