Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[siz-i-jee] /ˈsɪz ɪ dʒi/
noun, plural syzygies.
Astronomy. an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet:
Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.
Classical Prosody. a group or combination of two feet, sometimes restricted to a combination of two feet of different kinds.
any two related things, either alike or opposite.
Origin of syzygy
1650-60; < Late Latin syzygia < Greek syzygía union, pair, equivalent to sýzyg(os) yoked together (sy- sy- + zyg-, base of zeugnýnai to yoke1 + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -y3
Related forms
[si-zij-ee-uh l] /sɪˈzɪdʒ i əl/ (Show IPA),
[siz-i-jet-ik] /ˌsɪz ɪˈdʒɛt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
[siz-i-guh l] /ˈsɪz ɪ gəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for syzygy
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for syzygy


noun (pl) -gies
either of the two positions (conjunction or opposition) of a celestial body when sun, earth, and the body lie in a straight line: the moon is at syzygy when full
(in classical prosody) a metrical unit of two feet
(rare) any pair, usually of opposites
(biology) the aggregation in a mass of certain protozoans, esp when occurring before sexual reproduction
Derived Forms
syzygial (sɪˈzɪdʒɪəl), syzygetic (ˌsɪzɪˈdʒɛtɪk), syzygal (ˈsɪzɪɡəl) adjective
syzygetically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin syzygia, from Greek suzugia, from suzugos yoked together, from syn- + zugon a yoke
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for syzygy

"conjunction or opposition of a heavenly body with the sun," 1650s, from Late Latin syzygia, from Greek syzygia "yoke, pair, union of two, conjunction," from syzygein "to yoke together," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + zygon "yoke" (see jugular).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
syzygy in Medicine

syzygy syz·y·gy (sĭz'ə-jē)

  1. The association of gregarine protozoa end-to-end or in lateral pairing without sexual fusion.

  2. The pairing of chromosomes in meiosis.

sy·zyg'i·al (sĭ-zĭj'ē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
syzygy in Science
  1. Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the Sun.

    1. Either of the two points in the orbit of the Moon when it lies in a straight line with the Sun and Earth. A new moon syzygy occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth; a full moon syzygy occurs when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.

    2. The configuration of the Sun, Moon, and Earth when lying in a straight line.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for syzygy

Difficulty index for syzygy

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for syzygy

Scrabble Words With Friends