sun·​di·​al | \ ˈsən-ˌdī(-ə)l \

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

Examples of sundial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At this moment, the work depicts an aerial view of the power plant, concentric circles of tile-like mirrors with a tower at its center that, all together, resembles an ancient, slate-gray sundial of sorts. Deborah Vankin,, "LACMA debuts its 'Solar Reserve,' a digital sculpture addressing energy conservation," 12 July 2018 Up until the early 19th century sundials were the main instrument people used to tell time. Megan Arnett, Scientific American, "It's About Time... to Make a Sundial!," 15 Mar. 2018 The Loosens and the Prüms make wine from some of the most famous Mosel Riesling vineyards, including Wehlener Sonnenuhr, which faces the town of Wehlen and features a large 19th-century sundial. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Wine Destination Only the Pros Know," 27 June 2018 Through its intricate architecture, the library's Great Reading Room morphs into a sundial once the solstice hits. Weldon Johnson, azcentral, "Summer solstice 2018 is June 21. Here's why the day is a big deal," 19 June 2018 The need to gauge the divisions of the day and night led the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to create sundials, water clocks and other early chronometric tools. William J. H. Andrewes, Scientific American, "Time Keeping Has a Long, Colorful History," 23 Jan. 2012 Nieto’s artful shirt offers abstract embroidery of a Dorado fish on the front and a stitched sundial flower on the back in a color palette that is an ode to ocean water colors. Houston Chronicle, "ART FEEL: Wearable art for men created by local resident," 18 May 2018 Highlights of the tour include lakefront harbors, the Adler Planetarium and its outdoor sundial, Soldier Field, Millennium Park, the Buckingham Fountain and other spectacular Chicago attractions. Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "12 of the most touristy things to do in Chicago," 4 Jan. 2018 The sundial shows the most exact time at the spring and autumn equinoxes. Karel Janicek, Fox News, "New role for Czech Republic TV tower: A giant sundial," 20 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of sundial

1555, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sundial

The first known use of sundial was in 1555

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More Definitions for sundial



English Language Learners Definition of sundial

: 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


sun·​di·​al | \ ˈsən-ˌdī-əl \

Kids Definition of sundial

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sundial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sundial

Spanish Central: Translation of sundial

Nglish: Translation of sundial for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sundial

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