zo·​di·​ac ˈzō-dē-ˌak How to pronounce zodiac (audio)
: an imaginary band in the heavens centered on the ecliptic that encompasses the apparent paths of all the planets and is divided into 12 constellations or signs each taken for astrological purposes to extend 30 degrees of longitude
: a figure representing the signs of the zodiac and their symbols
: a cyclic course
a zodiac of feasts and fasts R. W. Emerson
zodiacal adjective
zodiac table

Example Sentences

a political candidate dealing with the never-ending zodiac of rubber-chicken dinners and meet and greets
Recent Examples on the Web Born beneath the eighth sign of the zodiac under a fire sign, Sagittarii celebrate their birthdays from November 22 to December 21. Andrea Wurzburger, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2022 Each zodiac sign's constellation is shown on the front with recycled 18k gold and sparkling diamonds. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 The third air sign, Aquarius, is best known as the eccentric and creative members of the zodiac. Zoey Lyttle, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2022 Of course, the drapey-but-not-too-oversized fit and cloud-soft fabric are an optimal selection for any zodiac sign who treats their standard fall knitwear like potential heirlooms. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Oct. 2022 As an oft-misunderstood eighth sign of the zodiac, Scorpios are known for being passionate and powerful, as well as ambitious and alluring. Andrea Wurzburger, Peoplemag, 24 Oct. 2022 Since Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, it’s not matured yet. Lisa Stardust, refinery29.com, 6 Oct. 2022 Justine’s hanfu featured whimsical embroidered scenes such as a phoenix with eight snakes for tails, chimeric Chinese zodiac animals, and a sunny side up UFO abducting a maneki-neko. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2022 Lego-brick portrait replicas of famous paintings and the Chinese zodiac line the walls of adjacent rooms. Colleen Barry, ajc, 26 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zodiac.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French zodias, zodiac, borrowed from Latin zōdiacus, adjective (in the combinations circulus/orbis zōdiacus "zodiac"), borrowed from Greek zōidiakós "zodiac" (originally modifying kýklos "circle"), from zṓidion "painted or carved figure, sign of the zodiac" (from zôion "animal, figure, image" + -idion, diminutive suffix) + -akos, variant of -ikos -ic entry 1 after a vowel — more at zoo-

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of zodiac was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near zodiac

Cite this Entry

“Zodiac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zodiac. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



zo·​di·​ac ˈzōd-ē-ˌak How to pronounce zodiac (audio)
: an imaginary belt in the heavens that includes the apparent paths of most of the planets and is divided into 12 star groups or signs
: a figure showing the signs of the zodiac
zodiacal adjective
zodiac table

More from Merriam-Webster on zodiac

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