• synonyms


[kuh-noh-puh s]
  1. Astronomy. a first-magnitude star in the constellation Carina: the second brightest star in the heavens.
  2. an ancient seacoast city in Lower Egypt, 15 miles (24 km) E of Alexandria.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for canopus

Historical Examples

  • The Canopus was never in the action at all, being 150 miles astern.

    The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)


  • They then reasoned that these were the guns of the Canopus—a critical and fatal error.

  • Canopus and Deneb, Rigel and Procyon, he would visit them all.

    Starman's Quest

    Robert Silverberg

  • The Canopus had her instructions, however, and there was no drawing back.

  • He then signalled by wireless to the Canopus, 'I am going to attack enemy now'.

British Dictionary definitions for canopus


  1. the brightest star in the constellation Carina and the second brightest star in the sky. Visual magnitude: -0.7; spectral type: F0II; distance: 313 light years
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  1. a port in ancient Egypt east of Alexandria where granite monuments have been found inscribed with the name of Rameses II and written in languages similar to those of the Rosetta stone
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Derived FormsCanopic, adjective
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 canopus



bright southern star, 1550s, ultimately from Greek Kanopos, Kanobos perhaps from Egyptian Kahi Nub "golden earth." The association with "weight" found in the name of the star in some northern tongues may reflect the fact that it never rises far above the horizon in those latitudes. Also the name of a town in ancient lower Egypt (famous for its temple of Serapis), hence canopic jar, canopic vase, which often held the entrails of embalmed bodies (1878).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper