gnomon

[noh-mon]
noun
1.
the raised part of a sundial that casts the shadow; a style. See illus. under sundial.
2.
an early astronomical instrument consisting of a vertical shaft, column, or the like, for determining the altitude of the sun or the latitude of a position by measuring the length of its shadow cast at noon.
3.
Geometry. (formerly) the part of a parallelogram that remains after a similar parallelogram has been taken away from one of its corners.

Origin:
1540–50; < Latin gnōmōn pin of a sundial < Greek gnṓmōn literally, interpreter, discerner

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World English Dictionary
gnomon (ˈnəʊmɒn)
 
n
1.  the stationary arm that projects the shadow on a sundial
2.  a geometric figure remaining after a parallelogram has been removed from one corner of a larger parallelogram
 
[C16: from Latin, from Greek: interpreter, from gignōskein to know]
 
gno'monic
 
adj
 
gno'monically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gnomon
"pillar that tells time by the shadow it casts, esp. on a sundial," 1546, from L. gnomon, from Gk. gnomon "indicator," lit. "one who discerns," from gignoskein "to come to know" (see gnostic).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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