Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!
bright southern star, 1550s, ultimately from Greek Kanopos, Kanobos perhaps from Egyptian Kahi Nub "golden earth." The association with "weight" found in the name of the star in some northern tongues may reflect the fact that it never rises far above the horizon in those latitudes. Also the name of a town in ancient lower Egypt (famous for its temple of Serapis), hence canopic jar, canopic vase, which often held the entrails of embalmed bodies (1878).
ancient Egyptian city on the western coast of the Nile River delta, in al-Iskandariyah muhafazah (governorate). Known to the Greeks as Kanopos, its Egyptian name was PeGewat. The Canopic branch of the Nile is entirely silted up, but on the shore about 2 miles (3.22 km) from Abu Qir there are extensive remains, including the temple of the Greco-Egyptian god Serapis. Canopus was a centre of the ointment industry and a pleasure resort for the people of Alexandria