equinoctial

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

Inherited from Middle English equinoctial, equinoccial, equinoxial, from Old French equinoxial, from Latin (circulus) aequinoctiālis, from aequinoctium + -alis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

equinoctial (not comparable)

  1. (astronomy) Of or relating to the spring or autumnal equinox.
    an equinoctial gale or storm, i.e. one happening at or near the time of the equinox, in any part of the world
  2. (astronomy) Of or relating to the celestial equator.
  3. (uncommon) Equatorial: Of or relating to the equator of the Earth.

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NounEdit

equinoctial (plural equinoctials)

  1. The great circle midway between the celestial poles; the celestial equator.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition III, section 2, member 1, subsection ii:
      The scorching beams under the equinoctial, or extremity of cold within the circle Arctic, […] cannot avoid or expel this heat, fury, and rage of mortal men.
  2. (rare) The terrestrial equator.
  3. An equinoctial gale.
    • 1868, The Family Herald: A Domestic Magazine of Useful Information and Amusement (page 209)
      Heavy with storm the coast-lines grew, / And sharp the equinoctials blew

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