canicular

adjective
ca·​nic·​u·​lar | \ kə-ˈni-kyə-lər How to pronounce canicular (audio) \

Definition of canicular

: 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" is also the Latin name for Sirius, the star that represents the hound of Orion in the constellation named for that hunter from Roman and Greek mythology. 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 associated with the Dog Star. The Greeks called this time of year "hēmerai kynades," which the Romans translated into Latin as dies caniculares, or as we know them in English, "the dog days."

First Known Use of canicular

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canicular

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about canicular

Time Traveler for canicular

Time Traveler

The first known use of canicular was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about canicular

Statistics for canicular

Cite this Entry

“Canicular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canicular. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on canicular

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canicular

Comments on canicular

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!