as·​trol·​o·​gy ə-ˈsträ-lə-jē How to pronounce astrology (audio)
: the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects
archaic : astronomy
astrological adjective
astrologically adverb

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The Difference Between Astronomy and Astrology

Some may find it easy to confuse astronomy and astrology. At one time, these two words actually were synonymous (that is, astronomy once meant what astrology means today), but they have since moved apart from each other. In current use, astronomy is concerned with “the study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere,” while astrology is the purported divination of how stars and planets influence our lives. Put bluntly, astronomy is a science, and astrology is not.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In astrology, each new moon is synced up with a zodiac sign, giving it a particular vibe. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 18 May 2023 For those unfamiliar with astrology, the eclipse in Scorpio on May 5 marks a big release or chapter ending for everyone. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2023 Therefore, Thomas put forth some suggestions for how astrology fans can face this month head-on. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 24 Feb. 2023 In astrology there are four elements that correspond to the 12 zodiac signs: fire, air, earth, and water. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 29 Dec. 2022 New moons in astrology mark the beginning of the lunar cycle. Lisa Stardust,, 27 Dec. 2022 In addition to representing one’s emotional world, the Moon also embodies the mother figure in astrology. Naydeline Mejia, Women's Health, 29 Apr. 2023 Oz is well-known for spreading medical misinformation, including touting astrology as a legitimate medical tool and the myth that apple juice contains unsafe levels of arsenic — a surprising political ally for Bourla, who runs one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, 9 Mar. 2023 As always, use astrology as a fun and additional tool to self-discovery than a rigid rulebook. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 9 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'astrology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English astrologie "study of celestial bodies, prediction by observing the configuration of celestial bodies," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French astrologie, borrowed from Latin astrologia "study of celestial bodies," borrowed from Greek astrología, from astro- astro- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of astrology was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near astrology

Cite this Entry

“Astrology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


as·​trol·​o·​gy ə-ˈsträl-ə-jē How to pronounce astrology (audio)
: the study of the supposed influences of the stars on human affairs by their positions in relation to each other
astrological adjective
astrologically adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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