Classical Mythology. seven daughters of Atlas and half sisters of the Hyades, placed among the stars to save them from the pursuit of Orion. One of them (the Lost Pleiad, ) hides, either from grief or shame.
Astronomy. a conspicuous group or cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus, commonly spoken of as seven, though only six are visible.
(Greek myth) the seven daughters of Atlas, placed as stars in the sky either to save them from the pursuit of Orion or, in another account, after they had killed themselves for grief over the death of their half-sisters the Hyades
a young conspicuous open star cluster approximately 370 light years away in the constellation Taurus, containing several thousand stars only six or seven of which are visible to the naked eye Compare Hyades1
a brilliant or talented group, esp one with seven members
C16: originally French Pléiade, name given by Pierre de Ronsard to himself and six other poets after a group of Alexandrian Greek poets who were called this after the Pleiades1
1388, the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, transformed by Zeus into seven stars, from L., from Gk. Pleiades, perhaps lit. "constellation of the doves" from a shortened form of peleiades, pl. of peleias "dove," from PIE base *pel- "dark-colored, gray." Or perhaps from plein "to sail," because the season of navigation begins with their heliacal rising. Mentioned by Hesiod (pre-700 B.C.E.), only six now are visible to most people; on a clear night a good eye can see nine (in 1579, well before the invention of the telescope, astronomer Moestlin correctly drew 11 Pleiades stars); telescopes reveal at least 500.