zodiacal constellation

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any of the 12 constellations after which the signs of the zodiac are named: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pisces
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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


What is a zodiacal constellation?

A zodiacal constellation is one of the 12 constellations (named star groups) that appear within a particular portion of the sky called the zodiac.

In astronomy, the zodiac is the band of sky along which the paths of the sun, the moon, and the planets appear to move.

The zodiac can be divided into 12 sections, each of which is named after one of the constellations. The constellations that appear within this band are the zodiacal constellations. They include Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Cancer, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius (Scorpio), Sagittarius, and Capricornus (Capricorn).

Despite its basis in astronomy, the word zodiac is mainly associated with and most often used in the context of astrology, in which it refers to a diagram (often a circular one) representing this belt and showing the symbols associated with each of the 12 constellations or sections, which are called the signs of the zodiac

Example: Orion is a well-known constellation, but it is not one of zodiacal constellations because it lies on the celestial equator.

Where does zodiacal constellation come from?

The term zodiacal constellation has been used since at least the 1800s. The first records of the adjective zodiacal come from the 1500s. Its base word, zodiac, comes from the Greek zōidiakòs (kuklos), meaning “(circle) of signs.” It ultimately comes from zōidion, meaning “animal sign” or “carved figure,” from zōion, “animal.” The word constellation comes from the Late Latin constellātiō, from Latin com-, meaning “together,” and stella, meaning “star.”

When ancient people looked up in the sky, they saw patterns in the stars that they thought looked like animals and other figures, such as a bull (Taurus), a lion (Leo), a scorpion (Scorpio), and an archer (Sagittarius). These patterns are what we call constellations, and special attention was paid to the ones that appear in what’s called the zodiac. All of this involved (and became part of) ancient mythology and the practice of trying to interpret events based on the position of heavenly bodies (which we now call astrology).

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How is zodiacal constellation used in real life?

The term zodiacal constellation is not commonly used. It’s much more common to simply refer to the constellations of the zodiac.



Try using zodiacal constellation!

Which of the following constellations is NOT considered a zodiacal constellation?

A. Aquarius
B. Pisces
C. Cygnus
D. Aries

How to use zodiacal constellation in a sentence