from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The vault of the heavens; the sky.
- n. basis.
- n. The field or sphere of an interest or activity.
- n. In the geocentric Ptolemaic system, the eighth sphere, which carried the fixed stars.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Fixed foundation; established basis.
- n. The region of the air; the sky or heavens.
- n. The orb of the fixed stars; the most rmote of the celestial spheres.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Foundation; support; basis.
- n. The sky or heavens; the vault of heaven, viewed as something solid and abiding; the region of the air.
- n. A piece of jewelry, as a star or the like, meant to be worn in a head-dress, such as the commode or tower of the seventeenth century.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected
Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin firmāmentum, from Latin, support, from firmāre, to strengthen; see firm2.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
English from the 13th century. From Latin firmāmentum (from firmō ("strengthen"), from firmus ("firm")), literally "that which strengthens or supports". The term is coined in the Vulgata in imitation of LXX στερέωμα ("firm or solid structure"), which in turn translates Hebrew רקיע, strictly speaking a mistranslation, as the original Hebrew term meant "expanse", from the root רקע "to spread out", which in Syriac had acquired the meaning "to make firm or solid". (Wiktionary)