Titan

[tahyt-n]
noun
  1. Classical Mythology.
    1. any of the sons of Uranus and Gaea, including Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Oceanus.
    2. Also Ti·tan·ess.any of the sisters of these, including Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Tethys, Themis, and Thia.
    3. any of the offspring of the children of Uranus and Gaea.
  2. the Titan, Helios.
  3. Astronomy. one of the moons of Saturn.
  4. (usually lowercase) a person or thing of enormous size, strength, power, influence, etc.: a titan of industry.
  5. Military. a two-stage, liquid-fueled U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile in service since the late 1950s and designed for launch from underground silos.
adjective
  1. (lowercase) titanic2(def 2).

Origin of Titan

1400–50; late Middle English: the sun, Helios < Latin Tītān < Greek Tītā́n
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for titans

titan

noun
  1. a person of great strength or size

Word Origin for titan

C17: from Titan 1

Titan

1

feminine Titaness

noun Greek myth
  1. any of a family of primordial gods, the sons and daughters of Uranus (sky) and Gaea (earth)
  2. any of the offspring of the children of Uranus and Gaea

Titan

2
noun
  1. the largest satellite of the planet Saturn, having a thick atmosphere consisting mainly of nitrogen. Diameter: 5150 km
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 titans

titan

n.

early 15c., from Latin Titan, from Greek Titan, member of a mythological race of giants who attempted to scale heaven by piling Mount Pelion on Mount Ossa but were overthrown by Zeus and the gods. They descended from Titan, elder brother of Kronos. Perhaps from tito "sun, day," which is probably a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor. Sense of "person or thing of enormous size" first recorded 1828. Applied to planet Saturn's largest satellite in 1868; it was discovered 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, who named it Saturni Luna "moon of Saturn."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

titans in Culture

Titans

The gods in classical mythology who ruled the universe until they were overthrown by Zeus. Atlas and Prometheus were Titans.

Note

Any great and powerful person can be called a “titan.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.