• synonyms


[gey-guh n-shahyn]
noun Astronomy.
  1. a faint, elliptical patch of light in the night sky that appears opposite the sun, being a reflection of sunlight by meteoric material in space.
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Origin of gegenschein

First recorded in 1875–80, gegenschein is from the German word Gegenschein counterglow
Also called counterglow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gegenschein

Historical Examples

  • These are known respectively as the Zodiacal Light and the Gegenschein.

    Astronomy of To-day

    Cecil G. Dolmage

  • Barnard finds that the Gegenschein is not so faint as is generally supposed.

  • The Gegenschein is an extremely elusive phenomenon, suitable only for eyes that have been specially trained to see it.

    Curiosities of the Sky

    Garrett Serviss

  • M. Quénisset notes that—as in the case of the Zodiacal Light—the southern border of the Gegenschein is sharper than the northern.

  • He must moreover sign with his own hand the so-called «Gegenschein» (Counter-certificate) to be found in the deposit book.

British Dictionary definitions for gegenschein


  1. a faint glow in the sky, just visible at a position opposite to that of the sun and having a similar origin to zodiacal lightAlso called: counterglow
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Word Origin

German, from gegen against, opposite + Schein light; see shine
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