Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun gno·mon \ˈnō-mən, -ˌmän\

Definition of gnomon

  1. 1 :  an object that by the position or length of its shadow serves as an indicator especially of the hour of the day: as a :  the pin of a sundial b :  a column or shaft erected perpendicular to the horizon

  2. 2 :  the remainder of a parallelogram after the removal of a similar parallelogram containing one of its corners

Illustration of gnomon

Origin and Etymology of gnomon

Latin, from Greek gnōmōn interpreter, pointer on a sundial, from gignōskein

First Known Use: 1546

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gnomon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!