- the spiral galaxy containing our solar system. With the naked eye it is observed as a faint luminous band stretching across the heavens, composed of approximately a trillion stars, most of which are too distant to be seen individually.
Origin of Milky Way
1350–1400; Middle English, translation of Latin via lactea; cf. galaxy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for milky way
Nearby is the farm where he got milk, the route to which he called the "milky-way."America, Volume IV (of 6)
I am much mistaken if the first is not 'Milky-way,' and the second, 'Plato.'Uncle Titus and His Visit to the Country
Do not fail to notice the remarkable subdivisions of the Milky-Way in this neighborhood.
The presence of the Milky-Way is manifest by the sprinkling of stars all about this region.
But her slippers glimmered with the light of the Milky-way, for they were covered with seed-pearls and opals in one mass.The Princess and the Goblin
- the diffuse band of light stretching across the night sky that consists of millions of faint stars, nebulae, etc, within our Galaxy
- another name for the Galaxy
C14: translation of Latin via lactea
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
Word Origin and History for milky way
late 14c., loan-translation of Latin via lactea. See also galaxy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The spiral galaxy that contains our solar system. Made up of an estimated two hundred billion stars or more, it is seen from Earth as an irregular band of hazy light across the night sky. The solar system is located in one of the revolving spiral arms, about 50 light-years north of the galactic plane and some 27,700 light-years from the galaxy's center, which lies in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. It takes approximately 250 million years for the solar system to orbit the galactic center, which is believed to contain a massive black hole. The Milky Way measures about 100,000 light-years in diameter and is the second largest galaxy, after the Andromeda Galaxy, in the cluster known as the Local Group. See also spiral galaxy.
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