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Sirius

[sir-ee-uh s] /ˈsɪr i əs/
noun
1.
Astronomy. the Dog Star, the brightest-appearing star in the heavens, located in the constellation Canis Major.
2.
Also, Seirios. Classical Mythology.
  1. the dog of Orion.
  2. Icarius' faithful dog, who was changed into a star.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Latin Sīrius < Greek Seírios
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Sirius

Sirius

/ˈsɪrɪəs/
noun
1.
the brightest star in the sky after the sun, lying in the constellation Canis Major. It is a binary star whose companion, Sirius B, is a very faint white dwarf. Distance: 8.6 light years Also called the Dog Star, Canicula, Sothis, related adjectives canicular cynic
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek Seirios, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Sirius
n.

brightest star by magnitude, late 14c., from Latin Sirius "the Dog Star," from Greek Seirios, said to mean literally "scorching" or "the scorcher." But other related Greek words seem to derive from this use, and the name might be a folk-etymologized borrowing from some other language. An Egyptian name for it was Sothis. The connection of the star with scorching heat is from its ancient heliacal rising at the summer solstice (see dog days). Also cf. dog star. Related: Sirian. The constellation Canis Major seems to have grown from the star, not the other way.

Homer made much of it as [Kyon], but his Dog doubtless was limited to the star Sirius, as among the ancients generally till, at some unknown date, the constellation was formed as we have it, -- indeed till long afterwards, for we find many allusions to the Dog in which we are uncertain whether the constellation or its lucida is referred to. [Richard Hinckley Allen, Canis Major in "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Sirius in Science
Sirius
  (sĭr'ē-əs)   
The brightest star seen in the night sky. It is in the constellation Canis Major. It is a white main-sequence star on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, with an apparent magnitude of -1.5. Sirius is a binary star, and its companion is a white dwarf star referred to as the Pup. Sirius is also known as the Dog Star. Scientific name: Alpha Canis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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