• synonyms


[al-tair, -tahyuh r, al-tair, -tahyuh r]
  1. a first-magnitude star in the constellation Aquila.
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Origin of Altair

< Arabic (al-nasr) al-ṭā'ir (the) flying (eagle)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for altair

Historical Examples of altair

  • Above him was the enormous triangle formed by Deneb, Vega, and Altair.

    Warning from the Stars

    Ron Cocking

  • Without turning he asked, "Shall I change course and go to Altair?"

    The Stars, My Brothers

    Edmond Hamilton

  • The middle of these is Altair, a yellowish star of the first magnitude.

    Astronomy of To-day

    Cecil G. Dolmage

  • Altair and Arcturus: prominent stars in the northern hemisphere.

    The Spring of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • I should say that Altair is about five degrees from each of his companions.

British Dictionary definitions for altair


  1. the brightest star in the constellation Aquila. Visual magnitude: 0.77; spectral type: A7V; distance: 16.8 light years
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Word Origin for Altair

Arabic, from al the + tā'ir bird
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 altair


bright star in the constellation Aquila, 16c., from Arabic Al Nasr al Tair "the Flying Eagle," from tair, participle of tara "it flew."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

altair in Science


[ăl-târ, -tīr]
  1. A bright white star in the constellation Aquila. Altair is a main-sequence star in the Hertzprung-Russell diagram. It is the 12th brightest star in the night sky, with an apparent magnitude of 0.77. Altair, along with Vega and Deneb, form the Summer Triangle asterism. Scientific name: Alpha Aquilae.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.