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.

Examples of astrology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Best Pie Recipes to Make for Thanksgiving Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) As the most traditional zodiac sign in astrology, Thomas says Capricorns will be drawn to mac and cheese. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 According to Western astrology, all zodiac signs are attributed to the four axes of the seasons. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 Before astrology apps warned us of every impending cosmic event, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was a supernova so rare that Hill has been able to live simply off that album (and her Fugees work). Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 18 Oct. 2023 However, choosing whether to believe that astrology has validity is, in some ways, missing the point. WIRED, 5 Oct. 2023 Meet the experts: Julia Halina Hadas is a witch, astrology expert, and author of The Modern Witchcraft Book of Astrology: Your Complete Guide to Empowering Your Magick With the Energy of the Planets. Aliza Pelto, Women's Health, 10 Sep. 2023 Research reports that astrology was first recorded around the 3rd millennium BCE. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2023 The survey also took a look at the astrology sign of pet parents. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 2 Sep. 2023 Per astrology and podcaster Charly King, Scorpios can have a powerful, stoic presence on the surface. Katie Mannion, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'astrology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English astrologie "study of celestial bodies, prediction by observing the configuration of celestial bodies," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French astrologie, borrowed from Latin astrologia "study of celestial bodies," borrowed from Greek astrología, from astro- astro- + -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 9 Dec. 2023.

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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