litui

lituus

[lit-yoo-uhs]
noun, plural litui [lit-yoo-ahy] .
1.
Geometry. a polar curve generated by the locus of a point moving so that the square of its radius vector varies inversely as the angle the radius vector makes with the polar axis. Equation: θr 2 = a.
2.
(in ancient Rome) a crook-shaped staff used by augurs for divination.

Origin:
1605–15; < Latin; geometrical sense from the curve's resemblance to such a staff

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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