[ sahy-nuh-shoo r, sin-uh- ]
/ ˈsaɪ nəˌʃʊər, ˈsɪn ə- /


something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.
something serving for guidance or direction.

Origin of cynosure

1590–1600; < Latin Cynosūra < Greek Kynósoura the constellation Ursa Minor, equivalent to kynós dog's (genitive of kýōn) + ourá tail

Related forms

cy·no·sur·al, adjective

Can be confused

cynosure sinecure Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cynosure

British Dictionary definitions for cynosure


/ (ˈsɪnəˌzjʊə, -ʃʊə) /


a person or thing that attracts notice, esp because of its brilliance or beauty
something that serves as a guide

Derived Forms

cynosural, adjective

Word Origin for cynosure

C16: from Latin Cynosūra the constellation of Ursa Minor, from Greek Kunosoura, from cyno- + oura tail
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