heliacal was our Word of the Day on 01/02/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of heliacal from the Web
There are lots of celestial bodies, but the biggest is Sirius, the dog star, and the 20 days before and the 20 days after its heliacal rising are called the dog days. Heliacal.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heliacal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The word heliacal rose in the mid-16th century. Its source is the Greek word hēlios, meaning "sun." Helios is also the Sun god of ancient Greece. Heliacal often suggests a relationship between a star and the sun as they appear to the human eye in the sky, as in our example sentences. It's also used in reference to the ancient Egyptian year, which began on the date when Sirius (or the Dog Star) first appeared on the eastern horizon at sunrise. English speakers have referred to this year as the heliacal year or the Sothic year. (Sothic comes from Sōthōs, the Greek word for Sirius.)
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