- either of two irregular galactic clusters in the southern heavens that are the nearest independent star system to the Milky Way.
Origin of Magellanic cloud
First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- either of two small irregular galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (Nubecula Major) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (Nubecula Minor), lying near the S celestial pole; they are probably satellites of the Galaxy. Distances: 163 000 light years (Large), 196 000 light years (Small)
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