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Sirius

[sir-ee-uh s]
noun
  1. Astronomy. the Dog Star, the brightest-appearing star in the heavens, located in the constellation Canis Major.
  2. Also Seirios. Classical Mythology.
    1. the dog of Orion.
    2. Icarius' faithful dog, who was changed into a star.
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Origin of Sirius

1325–75; Middle English < Latin Sīrius < Greek Seírios
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

CaniculaSiriusSothis

Examples from the Web for sirius

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But our stevedore didn't tell all there was of the Orion and the Sirius.

    Sonnie-Boy's People

    James B. Connolly

  • Man or woman, the face was pointed steadily toward the Sirius.

    Sonnie-Boy's People

    James B. Connolly

  • I had brought him to the Sirius in a carriage just before she sailed.

    Sonnie-Boy's People

    James B. Connolly

  • Sirius B, its companion, is a different matter; it's a white dwarf.

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

  • From earliest times Sirius has been known as the Dog of Orion.

    A Field Book of the Stars

    William Tyler Olcott


British Dictionary definitions for sirius

Sirius

noun
  1. the brightest star in the sky after the sun, lying in the constellation Canis Major. It is a binary star whose companion, Sirius B, is a very faint white dwarf. Distance: 8.6 light yearsAlso called: the Dog Star, Canicula, Sothis Related adjectives: canicular, cynic
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Word Origin

C14: via Latin from Greek Seirios, of obscure origin
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 sirius

Sirius

n.

brightest star by magnitude, late 14c., from Latin Sirius "the Dog Star," from Greek Seirios, said to mean literally "scorching" or "the scorcher." But other related Greek words seem to derive from this use, and the name might be a folk-etymologized borrowing from some other language. An Egyptian name for it was Sothis. The connection of the star with scorching heat is from its ancient heliacal rising at the summer solstice (see dog days). Also cf. dog star. Related: Sirian. The constellation Canis Major seems to have grown from the star, not the other way.

Homer made much of it as [Kyon], but his Dog doubtless was limited to the star Sirius, as among the ancients generally till, at some unknown date, the constellation was formed as we have it, -- indeed till long afterwards, for we find many allusions to the Dog in which we are uncertain whether the constellation or its lucida is referred to. [Richard Hinckley Allen, Canis Major in "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sirius in Science

Sirius

[sĭrē-əs]
  1. The brightest star seen in the night sky. It is in the constellation Canis Major. It is a white main-sequence star on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, with an apparent magnitude of -1.5. Sirius is a binary star, and its companion is a white dwarf star referred to as the Pup. Sirius is also known as the Dog Star. Scientific name: Alpha Canis.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.