American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration.
- n. Something that serves to guide.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Something that strongly attracts attention; a center of attraction.
- n. usually capitalized Ursa Minor or Polaris, the North Star, used as a guide by navigators.
- n. figuratively That which serves to guide or direct; a guiding star.
- n. Something that is the center of attention; an object that serves as a focal point of attraction and admiration.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The constellation of the Lesser Bear (Ursa Minor), to which, as containing the polar star, the eyes of mariners and travelers were often directed.
- n. That which serves to direct.
- n. Anything to which attention is strongly turned; a center of attraction.
- n. something that strongly attracts attention and admiration
- n. something that provides guidance (as Polaris guides mariners)
- From French cynosure ("Ursa Minor; Polaris"), from Latin Cynosūra ("Ursa Minor"), from Ancient Greek Κυνόσουρα (Kunosoura, "Ursa Minor"), literally “dog’s tail’, from κυνός (kunos, "dog's") + οὐρά (oura, "tail"). (Wiktionary)
- French, Ursa Minor (which contains the guiding star Polaris), from Latin cynosūra, from Greek kunosoura, dog's tail, Ursa Minor : kunos, genitive of kuōn, dog; see kwon- in Indo-European roots + ourā, tail; see ors- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His brisk What Happens Next recounts the history of American screenwriting from the silents to 2005, but its cynosure is the studio era, a period he writes about with romanticism and passion.”
“The cynosure was a statue -- a statue of a buck-toothed, wall-eyed youth gazing steadfastly up into the heavens.”
“Perhaps "cynosure" is even too brainy a word for PBS audiences.”
“By the early 17th century, "cynosure" was also being used figuratively for anything or anyone that, like the North Star, was the focus of attention or observation.”
“CynoCast comes from 'cynosure' which is something that provides guidance or direction.”
“Having ceased to be the refuge of the hunted and the cynosure of the oppressed, this country would thenceforth awe the nations of the Old World by its military power, and shock them by its profligacy, whereof the Ostend Circular and the murders and forgeries of Kansas were but foretastes, until God in His righteous wrath should bring upon it some visitation like the present, and hurl it from its pinnacle in mercy to mankind.”
“Here Egmont himself, in happier days, had often borne away the prize of skill or of valor, the cynosure of every eye; and hence, almost in the noon of a life illustrated by many brilliant actions, he was to be sent, by the hand of tyranny, to his great account.”
“Washington and its environs have always been a cynosure for American eyes, a place people have wanted to be proud of and have fought to keep 'right.”
“Beauchamp, Lucien Debray and Château-Renaud were not the only persons puzzled with regard to the enigmatical M. Dantès; all Paris was more or less bothered about him; his entire career prior to his appearance at the capital as the Deputy from Marseilles seemed shrouded in impenetrable mystery, and this was the more galling to the curious Parisians as his wonderful oratorical powers and his intense republicanism rendered him the cynosure of all eyes and made him the sensation of the hour.”
“But in a moment, Trevalyon is beside her, whose arm she quietly takes, while he led her up the long drawing rooms, the cynosure of all eyes, giving her at the head of the room, an easy chair.”
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