- Astronomy. an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet: Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.
- Classical Prosody. a group or combination of two feet, sometimes restricted to a combination of two feet of different kinds.
- any two related things, either alike or opposite.
Origin of syzygy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for syzygy
In the case of free parasites, a well-developed cyst is secreted by the syzygy, which rotates and gradually becomes spherical.
I have a sneaking friendliness even now for anyone to whom the word ‘syzygy’ carries no special meaning.The Mystery of the Sea
- either of the two positions (conjunction or opposition) of a celestial body when sun, earth, and the body lie in a straight linethe moon is at syzygy when full
- (in classical prosody) a metrical unit of two feet
- rare any pair, usually of opposites
- biology the aggregation in a mass of certain protozoans, esp when occurring before sexual reproduction
C17: from Late Latin syzygia, from Greek suzugia, from suzugos yoked together, from syn- + zugon a yoke
Word Origin and History for syzygy
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The association of gregarine protozoa end-to-end or in lateral pairing without sexual fusion.
- The pairing of chromosomes in meiosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the Sun.
- Either of the two points in the orbit of the Moon when it lies in a straight line with the Sun and Earth. A new moon syzygy occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth; a full moon syzygy occurs when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.
- The configuration of the Sun, Moon, and Earth when lying in a straight line.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.