[ ik-er-uhs, ahy-ker- ]

  1. Also Ik·a·ros [ik-er-uhs, ‐uh-ros] /ˈɪk ər əs, ‐əˌrɒs/ .Classical Mythology. a youth who attempted to escape from Crete with wings of wax and feathers but flew so high that his wings melted from the heat of the sun, and he plunged to his death in the sea.

  2. Astronomy. an asteroid whose eccentric orbit brings it closer to the sun than any other known asteroid.

Words Nearby Icarus

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Icarus in a sentence

  • His latest book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, is available from HarperCollins.

    How Wisconsin Helps Obama | Peter Beinart | March 14, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The present moment was not exciting; she had no plans and projects in her head; she was not about to court the fate of Icarus.

  • The next morning after the visit of the officer from the Icarus, the little girl rose early.

    Napoleon's Young Neighbor | Helen Leah Reed
  • How many things I took for facts,— Icarus and his conduct lax, And how he sealed his fate with wax!

  • Let us now return the pinions we borrowed from Icarus, and prepare to bid farewell to the wilds.

    Wanderings in South America | Charles Waterton
  • He fastened them on with wax, and Icarus flying too near the sun, his wings melted and he fell into the Aegean.

British Dictionary definitions for Icarus


/ (ˈɪkərəs, ˈaɪ-) /

  1. Greek myth the son of Daedalus, with whom he escaped from Crete, flying with wings made of wax and feathers. Heedless of his father's warning he flew too near the sun, causing the wax to melt, and fell into the Aegean and drowned

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

Scientific definitions for Icarus


[ ĭkər-əs ]

  1. A small asteroid with a highly eccentric, Earth-crossing orbit that takes it to within 30 million km (19 million mi) of the Sun, or closer than the planet Mercury. In 1968 Icarus approached within 6 million km (4 million mi) of the Earth. See more at asteroid.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Icarus


[ (ik-uh-ruhs) ]

In classical mythology, the son of Daedalus. Icarus died tragically while using artificial wings, invented by his father, to escape from the Labyrinth. When Icarus flew too close to the sun, it melted the wax that held the wings together, and he fell into the sea.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.