Definition of cynosure
- … they have turned an eyesore into a cynosure.
- —Catherine Reynolds
- … his rapidly increasing wealth has made him a cynosure in political circles.
- —Larissa MacFarquhar
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
with an unwavering commitment to equal rights for all as his only cynosure
that company is the cynosure for anyone wishing to make it in the music business
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cynosure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Ancient mariners noted that all the stars in the heavens seem to revolve around a particular star, and they relied on it to guide their navigation. The constellation that this bright star appears in is known to English speakers today as Ursa Minor, or the Little Dipper, but the Ancient Greeks called it Kynosoura, a term that comes from a phrase meaning "dog's tail." Kynosoura passed into Latin and Middle French, becoming cynosure. When English speakers adopted the term in the mid-16th century, they used it as a name for the constellation and the star (which is also known as the North Star) and also to identify a guide of any kind. By the early 17th century, cynosure was also being used figuratively for anything or anyone that, like the North Star, was the focus of attention or observation.
First Known Use: 1565See Words from the same year
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of very fine texture or delicate form
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