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sign of the zodiac

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noun Astrology.

one of the twelve constellations along the path of the ecliptic.
(in contemporary Western astrology) one of the twelve divisions of the ecliptic, each consisting of 30 degrees, marked off from the point of the vernal equinox.

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Origin of sign of the zodiac

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What are the signs of the zodiac?

In astrology, the signs of the zodiac are the 12 constellations (called zodiacal constellations) that appear in 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.

The zodiac can be divided into 12 sections, each of which is named after a constellation. These include Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Cancer, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius (Scorpio), Sagittarius, and Capricornus (Capricorn).

Despite its basis in astronomy, the word zodiac is mainly associated with and most often used in the context of astrology, in which it refers to a diagram (often a circular one) representing this belt and showing the symbols associated with each of the 12 constellations—these are the signs of the zodiac or zodiac signs. (The term sign of the zodiac can also refer to one of the 12 sections into which the zodiac is divided.)

Astrology is 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. For example, 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. 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 such a diagram.

In astrology, each sign of the zodiac has a corresponding symbol. Those used in Western astrology differ in some other cultures. For example, different ones are used in the Chinese zodiac.

Example: Apparently, my wife and I were born under signs of the zodiac that are supposed to make us very incompatible—oh well, we get along great!

Where do signs of the zodiac come from?

The first records of the term sign of the zodiac come from the 1860s. The word zodiac comes from the Greek zōidiakòs (kuklos), meaning “(circle) of signs.” It ultimately comes from zōidion, meaning “animal sign” or “carved figure,” from zōion, “animal.”

When ancient people looked up in the sky, they saw patterns in the stars that they thought looked like animals and other figures, such as a bull (Taurus), a lion (Leo), a scorpion (Scorpio), and an archer (Sagittarius). These patterns are what we call constellations, and the 12 of them that appear in what’s called the zodiac are known as the signs of the zodiac. All of this involved (and became part of) ancient mythology and the practice of trying to interpret events based on the position of heavenly bodies (which we now call astrology).

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What are some synonyms for sign of the zodiac?

 

What are some words that share a root or word element with sign of the zodiac

What are some words that often get used in discussing sign of the zodiac?

 

How is sign of the zodiac used in real life?

The term sign of the zodiac is most commonly used in the context of astrology. Most people discussing their sign of the zodiac simply call it their sign.

 

Try using sign of the zodiac!

Which of the following constellations is NOT considered a sign of the zodiac?

A. Aquarius
B. Pisces
C. Orion
D. Aries

Example sentences from the Web for sign of the zodiac

British Dictionary definitions for sign of the zodiac

sign of the zodiac

noun

any of the 12 equal areas, 30° wide, into which the zodiac can be divided, named after the 12 zodiacal constellations. In astrology, it is thought that a person's psychological type and attitudes to life can be correlated with the sign in which the sun lay at the moment of his birth, with the ascendant sign, and to a lesser extent with the signs in which other planets lay at this timeAlso called: sign, star sign, sun sign See also planet (def. 3), house (def. 9)
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
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