ca·​nic·​u·​lar kə-ˈni-kyə-lər How to pronounce canicular (audio)
: of or relating to the dog days

Did you know?

The Latin word canicula, meaning "small dog," is the diminutive form of canis, source of the English word canine. Canicula was also the name for Sirius, the star that represents the hound of the hunter Orion in the constellation named for that Roman mythological figure. Because the first visible rising of Sirius occurs during the summer, the hot sultry days that occur from early July to early September came to be called dies caniculares, or as we know them in English, "the dog days."

Word History


Middle English caniculer of the star Sirius, from Late Latin canicularis, from Latin Canicula Sirius, diminutive of canis

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of canicular was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near canicular

Cite this Entry

“Canicular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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