[ sep-ten-tree-on, -uh n ]
/ sɛpˈtɛn triˌɒn, -ən /


Obsolete. the north.

Origin of septentrion

1350–1400; Middle English Septemtrio(u)n < Latin septemtriōnēs, septentriōnēs the seven stars of Ursa Major, the north, equivalent to septem seven + triōnēs (plural) plowing oxen
Related formssep·ten·tri·o·nal [sep-ten-tree-uh-nl] /sɛpˈtɛn tri ə nl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for septentrion

British Dictionary definitions for septentrion


/ (sɛpˈtɛntrɪˌɒn) /


archaic the northern regions or the north
Derived Formsseptentrional, adjective

Word Origin for septentrion

C14: from Latin septentriōnēs, literally: the seven ploughing oxen (the constellation of the Great Bear), from septem seven + triōnēs ploughing oxen
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 septentrion



"the Big Dipper;" Middle English septentrioun (1530s in reference to the star pattern; late 14c. as "the North," and septentrional "northern," in reference to the sky, is attested from late 14c.), from Latin septentriones, septemtriones (plural) "the Great Bear, the seven stars of the Big Dipper;" also figuratively "the northern regions, the North;" literally "seven plow oxen," from septem "seven" (see seven) + trio (genitive triones) "plow ox," from stem of terere (past participle tritus) "to rub" (see throw (v.)). Cf. also Charles's Wain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper