• synonyms


[suhn-dahy-uh l, -dahyl]
See more synonyms for sundial on Thesaurus.com
  1. an instrument that indicates the time of day by means of the position, on a graduated plate or surface, of the shadow of the gnomon as it is cast by the sun.
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Origin of sundial

First recorded in 1570–80; sun + dial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sundial

alarm, timer, dial, clock, watch, chronometer, calendar, chronograph, repeater, metronome, pendulum, horologe, chronoscope, gnomon, sundial, stopwatch, clepsydra, hourglass, timepiece, tattler

Examples from the Web for sundial

Contemporary Examples of sundial

Historical Examples of sundial

  • A white figure had turned the road by the sundial, and was coming on with the step of a greyhound.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Past the sundial ran the girl, and around to the rear of the house.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • You dwell upon the sundial; you mention for a second time the Adams fireplace.

    They and I

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • At the head of the walk was a sundial, and at the further end a fountain.

    Peak's Island

    Ford Paul

  • Moreover, a sundial, to be of practical value, had to be kept steady.

British Dictionary definitions for sundial


  1. a device indicating the time during the hours of sunlight by means of a stationary arm (the gnomon) that casts a shadow onto a plate or surface marked in hours
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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 sundial


1590s, from sun (n.) + dial (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper