• synonyms


  1. of or relating to Ptolemy or his system of astronomy.
  2. of or relating to the dynastic house of the Ptolemies or the period of their rule in Egypt.
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Origin of Ptolemaic

1665–75; < Greek Ptolemaikós of Ptolemy, equivalent to Ptolema(îos) Ptolemy + -ikos -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ptolemaic

Historical Examples of ptolemaic

  • The Ptolemaic hypothesis of the universe was then in fashion.

    Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8


  • In 1632 appeared his "Dialogues" on the Ptolemaic and Copernican systems.

  • But for the stars—the old Ptolemaic system might still have been true.

  • Even at the present day, we habitually use the Ptolemaic phraseology.

  • It may have been due to the strange superstition of the Egyptians of the Ptolemaic period.

    The New York Obelisk

    Charles E. Moldenke

British Dictionary definitions for ptolemaic


  1. of or relating to the Greek astronomer Ptolemy or to his conception of the universe
  2. of or relating to the Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander the Great (323 bc) to the death of Cleopatra (30 bc)
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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

Word Origin and History for ptolemaic



1670s, "of Ptolemy," Alexandrian astronomer (2c.) whose geocentric model of the universe was accepted until the time of Copernicus and Kepler. Also (1771) "of the Ptolemies," Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander to Cleopatra. Earlier form was Ptolemaean (1640s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper