Origin of Pleiades
Definition for pleiades (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for pleiades
To begin with, there are the Pleiades, showing to the naked eye only six or seven stars.Half-hours with the Telescope|Richard A. Proctor
Perseus lies directly north of the Pleiades, and contains several bright stars.Letters on Astronomy|Denison Olmsted
You would think, if you judge by mere ocular demonstration, that the Pleiades almost touch one another.The 'Characters' of Jean de La Bruyre|Jean de La Bruyre
Thus the starship Pleiades had cost the Galaxian Society almost a thousand million credits.The Galaxy Primes|Edward Elmer Smith
Now there are only six stars in the constellation called the Pleiades, and the little sister is constantly searching for them.'Round the Year in Myth and Song|Florence Holbrook
British Dictionary definitions for pleiades (1 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for pleiades (2 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for pleiades (3 of 4)
Word Origin for pleiad
British Dictionary definitions for pleiades (4 of 4)
Word Origin and History for pleiades
late 14c., the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, transformed by Zeus into seven stars, from Latin Pleiades, from Greek Pleiades, perhaps literally "constellation of the doves" from a shortened form of peleiades, plural of peleias "dove" (from PIE root *pel- "dark-colored, gray"). Or perhaps from plein "to sail," because the season of navigation begins with their heliacal rising.
Old English had the name from Latin as Pliade. Mentioned by Hesiod (pre-700 B.C.E.), only six now are visible to most people; on a clear night a good eye can see nine (in 1579, well before the invention of the telescope, the German astronomer Michael Moestlin (1550-1631) correctly drew 11 Pleiades stars); telescopes reveal at least 500. Hence French pleiade, used for a meeting or grouping of seven persons.