- the Little or Lesser Bear, the northernmost constellation, containing the stars that form the Little Dipper, the outermost of which, at the end of the handle, is Polaris.
Origin of Ursa Minor
First recorded in 1590–1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a small faint constellation, the brightest star of which is the Pole Star, lying 1° from the true celestial poleAlso called: the Little Bear, the Bear, (US and Canadian) the Little Dipper
Word Origin for Ursa Minor
Latin: lesser bear
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
- A ladle-shaped constellation very near the north celestial pole. Ursa Minor (the Lesser Bear) contains the seven stars that form the Little Dipper. Polaris, the North Star, is at the end of the dipper's handle.
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