[ al-muh-jest ]
/ ˈæl məˌdʒɛst /


(italics) a Greek work on astronomy by Ptolemy.
(lowercase) any of various medieval works of a like kind, as on astrology or alchemy.

Origin of Almagest

1350–1400; Middle English almageste < Middle French < Arabic al the + majisṭī < Greek megístē (sýntaxis) greatest (composition) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for almagest

British Dictionary definitions for almagest


/ (ˈælməˌdʒɛst) /


a work on astronomy compiled by Ptolemy in the 2nd century a.d containing a description of the geocentric system of the universe and a star catalogue
(sometimes not capital) any of various similar medieval treatises on astrology, astronomy, or alchemy

Word Origin for Almagest

C14: from Old French, from Arabic al-majisti, from al the + majisti, from Greek megistē greatest (treatise)
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 almagest



late 14c., title of a treatise on astronomy by Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria, extended in Middle English to other works on astrology or astronomy, from Old French almageste (13c.), from Arabic al majisti, from al "the" + Greek megiste "the greatest (composition)," from fem. of megistos, superlative of megas "great" (see mickle). Originally titled in Greek Megale syntaxis tes astronomios "Great Work on Astronomy;" Arab translators in their admiration altered this.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper