lituus

[ lit-yoo-uhs ]
/ ˈlɪt yu əs /

noun, plural lit·u·i [lit-yoo-ahy]. /ˈlɪt yuˌaɪ/.

Geometry. a polar curve generated by the locus of a point moving so that the square of its radius vector varies inversely as the angle the radius vector makes with the polar axis. Equation: θr2 = a.
(in ancient Rome) a crook-shaped staff used by augurs for divination.

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WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

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Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Origin of lituus

1605–15; <Latin; geometrical sense from the curve's resemblance to such a staff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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