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Word of the Day
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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
The throne of the gods was the most famous institution in Atvatabar. It was the cynosure of every eye, the object of all adoration, the tabernacle of all that was splendid in art, science and spiritual perfection. William R. Bradshaw, The Goddess of Atvatabar, 1892
... the garden’s look will be substantially different, with 16 new pieces by artists including ... Katharina Fritsch, whose “Hahn/Cock,” an ultramarine rooster more than 20 feet tall, might challenge “Spoonbridge” as the garden’s cynosure. Robin Pogrebin and Randy Kennedy, "The New Cherries on Top of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden," New York Times, January 21, 2016
Origin of cynosure
1590-1600
In Greek Kynósoura means “dog’s tail” and is also the name of the constellation Ursa Minor (also known as the Lesser Bear, Little Bear, and especially in American usage, the Little Dipper). The first element of Kynósoura is the genitive singular of the Greek noun kúōn “dog, bitch, shepherd dog, watchdog.” Greek kúōn (and its stem kun-) come a very wide spread Proto-Indo-European noun kúwōn (stems kwon-, kun-) “dog,” source of Sanskrit śvā́ (also śuvā́) (stem śun-), Old Prussian sunis, Germanic (German) Hund “dog,” (Old English) hund, (English hound). Greek ourā́ “tail” is akin to Greek órrhos “rump” (from orso-) comes from Proto-Indo-European orsos “buttocks, rump, tail,” source of Germanic (German) Arsch and English arse (ass in American English). Cynosure entered English at the end of the 16th century.