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Word of the Day
Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Definitions for cynosure

  1. something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.
  2. something serving for guidance or direction.

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Citations for cynosure
So imagine the dinner is for some nine hundred of the most famous and sought-after people in the world—luminaries who, at any other party, would be the cynosure of all eyes but on this evening might not even merit favorable placement. John Seabrook, "Names," The New Yorker, February 3, 2014
Currently the cynosure in the space programme is the Moon landing, a jaunt that will probably cost the American nation at least $50 billion--and this figure could easily double. David Fishlock, "The 'fall-out' from the space race," New Scientist, May 30, 1963
Origin of cynosure
Cynosure entered English in the late 1500s in reference to the most prominent star in Ursa Minor, Polaris. It can be traced to the Greek word Kynósoura meaning "dog's tail," a description of what the constellation was thought to resemble.