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syzygy

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noun syz·y·gy \ˈsi-zə-jē\

Definition of syzygy

plural syzygies

  1. :  the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system



Did You Know?

At first glance, syzygy appears to be a somewhat singular member of the English language. Despite its appearance, however, it does have etymological ties to a few words in Modern English. Syzygy can be traced to the Greek syzygos ("yoked together"), a combination of syn- ("with, together with") and zygon ("yoke"). Zygon is also the source of zygote ("a cell formed by the union of two gametes") and zygoma, which refers to several bones and processes of the skull, including the zygomatic bone (a.k.a., the cheekbone). Zygon is also related to the Old English geoc—the source of the Modern English yoke—and the Latin jungere, from which the English words join and junction are derived.

Origin of syzygy

Late Latin syzygia conjunction, from Greek, from syzygos yoked together, from syn- + zygon yoke — more at yoke


First Known Use: circa 1847

Other Astronomy Terms


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