Vulcan

[vuhl-kuh n]
noun
  1. the ancient Roman god of fire and metalworking, identified with the Greek Hephaestus.
  2. Military. a six-barrel, 20mm U.S. Army antiaircraft gun system mounted on an armored personnel carrier and first deployed in 1968.
  3. Astronomy. a hypothetical planet nearest the sun whose existence was erroneously postulated to account for perturbations in Mercury's orbit.

Origin of Vulcan

First recorded in 1505–15, Vulcan is from the Latin word Vulcānus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vulcan

Vulcan

1
noun
  1. the Roman god of fire and metalworkingGreek counterpart: Hephaestus
Derived FormsVulcanian (vʌlˈkeɪnɪən), adjective

Vulcan

2
noun
  1. a hypothetical planet once thought to lie within the orbit of Mercury
Derived FormsVulcanian (vʌlˈkeɪnɪən), adjective
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 vulcan

Vulcan

n.

god of fire and metal-work in Roman mythology, 1510s, from Latin Vulcanus, a word of Etruscan origin. Often with allusions to his lameness and the unfaithfulness of his wife, Venus. As the name of a hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun, it is attested from 1870. The Roman feast of Vulcanalia was on Aug. 23.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vulcan in Culture

Vulcan

[Greek name Hephaestus]

The Roman and Greek god of fire and metalworking; the blacksmith of the gods. He suffered bodily deformities and lameness. According to some stories, he was married to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty; in other stories, he was married to one of the three Graces. Vulcan was a son of Jupiter.

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.