noun (1)
ple·​iad | \ ˈplē-əd How to pronounce pleiad (audio) , ˈplā-, -ˌad, chiefly British ˈplī- How to pronounce pleiad (audio) \

Definition of pleiad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of usually seven illustrious or brilliant persons or things


noun (2)

Definition of Pleiad (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of the Pleiades

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In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione who were changed into a conspicuous cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus. During the Renaissance, French speakers used Pléiade (from the singular form of Pleiades) as the name for an eminent group of seven tragic poets of ancient Alexandria. Later, the French word was also used as a sobriquet for a group of 16th-century French poets led by Pierre de Ronsard. Pleiad has been shining its light in English since about 1839.

First Known Use of pleiad

Noun (1)

1710, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pleiad

Noun (1)

French Pléiade, group of seven 16th century French poets, from Middle French, group of seven tragic poets of ancient Alexandria, from Greek Pleiad-, Pleias, from singular of Pleiades

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The first known use of pleiad was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pleiad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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