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[sahy-nuh-shoo r, sin-uh-] /ˈsaɪ nəˌʃʊər, ˈsɪn ə-/
something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.:
the cynosure of all eyes.
something serving for guidance or direction.
Origin of cynosure
1590-1600; < Latin Cynosūra < Greek Kynósoura the constellation Ursa Minor, equivalent to kynós dog's (genitive of kýōn) + ourá tail
Related forms
cynosural, adjective
Can be confused
cynosure, sinecure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cynosure
  • But her cynosure as an artist is a disciplined evacuation of psychic distance between her subjects and the viewer.
British Dictionary definitions for cynosure


/ˈsɪnəˌzjʊə; -ʃʊə/
a person or thing that attracts notice, esp because of its brilliance or beauty
something that serves as a guide
Derived Forms
cynosural, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Cynosūra the constellation of Ursa Minor, from Greek Kunosoura, from cyno- + oura tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cynosure

1590s, from Middle French cynosure (16c.), from Latin Cynosura, literally "dog's tail," the constellation (now Ursa Minor) containing the North Star, the focus of navigation, from Greek kynosoura, literally "dog's tail," from kyon (genitive kynos; see canine) + oura "tail."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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