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Venus

[vee-nuh s]
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noun, plural Ve·nus·es for 2.
  1. an ancient Italian goddess of gardens and spring, identified by the Romans with Aphrodite as the goddess of love and beauty.
  2. an exceptionally beautiful woman.
  3. (sometimes lowercase) Archaeology. a statuette of a female figure, usually carved of ivory and typically having exaggerated breasts, belly, or buttocks, often found in Upper Paleolithic cultures from Siberia to France.
  4. Astronomy. the planet second in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7521 miles (12,104 km), a mean distance from the sun of 67.2 million miles (108.2 million km), a period of revolution of 224.68 days, and no moons. It is the most brilliant planet in the solar system.
  5. Chemistry Obsolete. copper1(def 1).

Origin of Venus

< Latin Venus, stem Vener- originally a neuter common noun meaning “physical desire, sexual appetite,” hence “qualities exciting desire, seductiveness, charm,” “a goddess personifying sexual attractiveness”; cognate with Sanskrit vanaḥ desire, akin to wish; cf. venerate, venom
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for venus

Venus1

noun
  1. the Roman goddess of loveGreek counterpart: Aphrodite
  2. mount of Venus See mons veneris

Venus2

noun
  1. one of the inferior planets and the second nearest to the sun, visible as a bright morning or evening star. Its surface is extremely hot (over 400°C) and is completely shrouded by dense cloud. The atmosphere is principally carbon dioxide. Mean distance from sun: 108 million km; period of revolution around sun: 225 days; period of axial rotation: 244.3 days (retrograde motion); diameter and mass: 96.5 and 81.5 per cent that of earth respectively
  2. the alchemical name for copper 1
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 venus

Venus

Old English, from Latin Venus (plural veneres), in ancient Roman mythology, the goddess of beauty and love, especially sensual love, from venus "love, sexual desire, loveliness, beauty, charm," from PIE root *wen- "to strive after, wish, desire, be satisfied" (cf. Sanskrit vanas- "desire," vanati "desires, loves, wins;" Avestan vanaiti "he wishes, is victorious;" Old English wynn "joy," wunian "to dwell," wenian "to accustom, train, wean," wyscan "to wish"). Applied by the Romans to Greek Aphrodite, Egyptian Hathor, etc. Meaning "second planet from the sun" is attested from late 13c. (Old English had morgensteorra and æfensteorra).

The venus fly-trap (Dionæa muscipula) was discovered 1760 by Gov. Arthur Dobbs in North Carolina and description sent to Collinson in England. The Algonquian name for the plant, titipiwitshile, yielded regional American English tippity wichity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

venus in Science

Venus

[vēnəs]
  1. The second planet from the Sun, with a diameter about 400 miles less than that of Earth. Venus is a terrestrial or inner planet and at inferior conjunction comes nearer to Earth than any other planet; depending on its phase, it is also the brightest object in the night sky aside from Earth's moon. Because Venus is an inferior planet (located between Earth and the Sun), it is only visible relatively near the horizon in the first few hours before sunrise or after sunset. It has a dense atmosphere consisting primarily of carbon dioxide, which, together with its proximity to the Sun, creates an intense greenhouse effect, making it the hottest planet in the solar system with an average surface temperature of 464°C (867°F). Venus is completely shrouded by a thick layer of clouds made up mainly of droplets of sulfuric acid with other clouds of vaporous and particulate sulfur dioxide below it. Radar mapping of the Venutian surface shows rolling hills, plains, and numerous volcanoes as well as large impact craters and extensive lava flows. See Table at solar system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

venus in Culture

Venus

The Roman name of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty in classical mythology.

Note

The second planet from the sun (the Earth is third) is named Venus.

Venus

In astronomy, the second major planet from the sun, named for the Roman goddess of love. The surface of Venus is very hot and covered with clouds. Spacecraft from the former Soviet Union landed on Venus and survived long enough to send back photographs and measurements. (See solar system; see under “Mythology and Folklore.”)

Note

Venus is seen from the Earth as a bright morning or evening star — occasionally bright enough to cast a shadow.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.