- Classical Mythology. one of a race of monsters having the head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Centaurus.
- a skillful horseman or horsewoman.
- (initial capital letter) Rocketry. a U.S. upper stage, with a restartable liquid-propellant engine, used with an Atlas or Titan booster to launch satellites and probes.
Origin of centaur
Examples from the Web for centaurs
Centaurs would grow comet-like tails if they fell closer toward the Sun.Chariklo, a Minor Planet Nicknamed a “Centaur,” Discovered to Have Rings
Matthew R. Francis
April 6, 2014
And then there were the satyrs and centaurs, and suchlike beings.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
The most beautiful and youthful of the Centaurs was Cyllarus.
Contests with the Amazons and battles with the centaurs form the subject of the whole.Museum of Antiquity
L. W. Yaggy
Swift no doubt took his idea of the men-horses from centaurs.
The Centaurs were mythical creatures which inhabited Thessaly.
- Greek myth one of a race of creatures with the head, arms, and torso of a man, and the lower body and legs of a horse
Word Origin and History for centaurs
late 14c., from Latin centaurus, from Greek Kentauros, origin disputed. In early Greek literature they were a savage, horse-riding tribe from Thessaly; later they were monsters half horse, half man. The southern constellation of Centaurus is attested in English from 1550s but was known by that name to the Romans and known as a centaur to the Greeks. It has often been confused since classical times with Sagittarius.
- Any of a group of icy bodies similar to both asteroids and comets, orbiting the Sun in elliptical paths mostly in the region between Saturn and Neptune. Centaurs range in diameter from around 100 to 400 km (62 to 248 mi) and are believed to be Kuiper belt objects that have escaped into the vicinity of the gas-giant planets. Centaurs are considered to have unstable orbits, and gravitational encounters with the large outer planets could send them into the inner solar system or alternatively could eject them from the solar system into interstellar space. Chiron, the first such body to be classified as a Centaur, was discovered in 1977.
Creatures in classical mythology who were half-human and half-horse.