as·​trol·​o·​gy ə-ˈsträ-lə-jē How to pronounce astrology (audio)
: the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects
archaic : astronomy
astrological adjective
astrologically adverb

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The Difference Between Astronomy and Astrology

Some may find it easy to confuse astronomy and astrology. At one time, these two words actually were synonymous (that is, astronomy once meant what astrology means today), but they have since moved apart from each other. In current use, astronomy is concerned with “the study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere,” while astrology is the purported divination of how stars and planets influence our lives. Put bluntly, astronomy is a science, and astrology is not.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Bron has designed them to be chic mystery boxes — a series of clever, cryptic clues that involve stereograms, chess games, knowledge of classical music and astrology, the Morse code, the Fibonacci sequence and several other brain games. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2022 Boucheron, the French jewelry firm that counts the British royal family among its customers, recently hosted a client and family with an affinity for astrology for a private dinner under the stars at the Côte d’Azur Observatory in France. Jill Newman, Robb Report, 20 Nov. 2022 For the woman in your life who loves astrology, turn to French ready-to-wear brand Maje's gorgeous collection of zodiac pendant necklaces. Jaimie Potters, Men's Health, 16 Nov. 2022 At one point, Diana would go on to welcome spirituality and astrology into her world, too. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 13 Nov. 2022 These candles are super thoughtful and super perfect for your bro that has an appreciation for astrology, numerology, zodiac signs, or just a good candle. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 10 Nov. 2022 In politics, clear metrics are often lacking—and that goes double in an era in which polling seems less accurate than astrology. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2022 But such exemption from standards of evidence and falsifiability puts the claim on the same epistemic level as astrology or climate skepticism. Nick Romeo, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2022 In astrology, lunar eclipses mark the dramatic ending or release. Lisa Stardust,, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English astrologie, from Middle French, from Latin astrologia, from Greek, from astr- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near astrology

Cite this Entry

“Astrology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



as·​trol·​o·​gy ə-ˈsträl-ə-jē How to pronounce astrology (audio)
: the study of the supposed influences of the stars on human affairs by their positions in relation to each other
astrological adjective
astrologically adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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