[ lahy-bruh, lee- ]
/ ˈlaɪ brə, ˈli- /
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noun, plural li·brae [lahy-bree, lee-brahy]. /ˈlaɪ bri, ˈli braɪ/.
the ancient Roman pound (containing 5053 grains or 327.4 grams).
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Origin of libra

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin lībra

Other definitions for libra (2 of 3)

[ lee-vrah ]
/ ˈli vrɑ /

noun, plural li·bras [lee-vrahs]. /ˈli vrɑs/.

Origin of libra

<Spanish <Latin lībralibra1

Other definitions for libra (3 of 3)

[ lee-bruh, lahy- ]
/ ˈli brə, ˈlaɪ- /

noun, genitive Li·brae [lee-brahy, lahy-bree] /ˈli braɪ, ˈlaɪ bri/ for 1.
Astronomy. the Balance, a zodiacal constellation between Virgo and Serpens.
  1. the seventh sign of the zodiac: the cardinal air sign.
  2. Also Libran. a person born under this sign, usually between September 23rd and October 22nd.

Origin of Libra

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin lībra literally, pair of scales, libra1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does Libra mean?

Libra is the name of a constellation that is interpreted as representing a pair of scales. It is also known as the Scales or the Balance.

A constellation is a group of stars that appear near each other in the sky—especially a group that has been given a name. Libra is considered one of the 12 zodiacal constellations—constellations that appear within a particular portion of the sky called the zodiac.

In astronomy, the zodiac is the band of sky along which the paths of the sun, the moon, and the planets appear to move.

Despite its basis in astronomy, the word zodiac is mainly associated with and most often used in the context of astrology, the nonscientific practice in which the positions of heavenly bodies at certain times are thought to influence or be correlated with human behavior and events. In astrology, zodiac refers to a diagram (often a circular one) representing the zodiac belt and showing the symbols associated with each of the 12 constellations or sections, which are called the signs of the zodiac. Libra is one of these signs. It is situated between Virgo and Scorpio and is considered the seventh sign of the zodiac.

The other signs of the zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

The position of the sun in a particular portion of the zodiac at the moment of a person’s birth is thought to correlate with their personality. This is what people are referring to when they talk about their zodiac sign (or star sign or often just sign). People whose sign is Libra are those born between September 23 and October 22.

The word Libra can be used as a noun to refer to someone who is born during this time, as in I was born in late October, so I’m a Libra. The word Libran can be used to mean the same thing. It can also be used as an adjective form of Libra.

Example: Oh, your birthday is in October? Are you a Libra?

Libra dates

People with the sign Libra are traditionally considered to be those born in the range of September 23–October 22. However, interpretations vary.

Where does Libra come from?

The first records of the word Libra in English come from the 1300s. It comes from the Latin word lībra, referring to a pair of scales. The word libra is also used to refer to an ancient Roman unit of weight. The abbreviation lb. for “pound” comes from this word.

Libra was once associated with the constellation Scorpio, being interpreted as the scorpion’s claws. It was later interpreted as a pair of scales.

In astrology, the different signs of the zodiac are thought to be associated with certain personality traits. Traits associated with Libra include diplomacy and vengefulness (the scales of justice). Libra and the other signs of the zodiac are often used in the context of a person’s horoscope. The word horoscope can refer to a diagram of the heavens that maps the relative position of planets and the signs of the zodiac. It can also refer to a prediction based (or said to be based) on a person’s sign and the location of other celestial bodies at the time they were born.

Get more insight into what really defines a Libra by visiting our article on the many traits of Libras. 

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What are some other forms related to Libra?

  • Libran (noun, adjective)

What are some words that often get used in discussing Libra?

How is Libra used in real life?

The word Libra is used to refer to the sign of the zodiac, named after the constellation. In the context of astrology, people associate a number of different traits with the sign Libra.


Try using Libra!

True or False?

People whose sign is Libra are born in September and October.

How to use libra in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for libra (1 of 2)

/ (ˈlaɪbrə) /

noun plural -brae (-briː)
an ancient Roman unit of weight corresponding to 1 pound, but equal to about 12 ounces

Word Origin for libra

C14: from Latin, literally: scales

British Dictionary definitions for libra (2 of 2)

/ (ˈliːbrə) /

noun Latin genitive Librae (ˈliːbriː)
astronomy a small faint zodiacal constellation in the S hemisphere, lying between Virgo and Scorpius on the ecliptic
  1. Also called: the Scales, the Balance the seventh sign of the zodiac, symbol ♎, having a cardinal air classification and ruled by the planet Venus. The sun is in this sign between about Sept 23 and Oct 22
  2. a person born under this sign
astrology born under or characteristic of Libra
Also (for senses 2b, 3): Libran (ˈlɪbrən)
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 libra

[ lēbrə ]

A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Scorpius and Virgo. Libra (the Scales or Balance) is the seventh sign of the zodiac.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.