Definition of sundial
: an instrument to show the time of day by the shadow of a gnomon on a usually horizontal plate or on a cylindrical surface
Recent Examples of sundial from the Web
From a pagan temple to a cosmic sundial to a Christian church, the Pantheon has lived up to its name of all things to all gods.
Then Pendulum clocks, a big advance over the hourglasses and sundials humans once peered at, remained the most precise timekeeping technology until the early 1900s.
The original clock is missing its gnomon, the part of a sundial that casts a shadow, but an 18th-century museum curator described it having one in the shape of a pig’s tail, so Parslow re-created that, too.
Military experts say the cloud and its dark shadow can be seen as a kind of sundial that suggests when an American plane took the photograph.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sundial'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of sundial
SUNDIAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sundial for English Language Learners
: a device that is used to show the time of day by the position of the sun and that consists of a plate with markings like a clock and an object with a straight edge that casts a shadow onto the plate
SUNDIAL Defined for Kids
Definition of sundial for Students
: a device that shows the time of day by the position of the shadow cast onto a marked plate by an object with a straight edge
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sundial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).