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spica

[spahy-kuh] /ˈspaɪ kə/
noun, plural spicae
[spahy-see] /ˈspaɪ si/ (Show IPA),
spicas for 1, 2.
1.
spike2 .
2.
a type of bandage in the shape of a figure eight, extending from an extremity to the trunk.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a first-magnitude star in the constellation Virgo.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin spīca literally, ear of grain; cf. spike2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for spica

spica

/ˈspaɪkə/
noun (pl) -cae (-siː), -cas
1.
(med) a spiral bandage formed by a series of overlapping figure-of-eight turns
2.
(botany) another word for spike2 (sense 1)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: ear of corn

Spica

/ˈspiːkə/
noun
1.
the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Distance: 260 light years
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spica

Spica

n.

1728, bright star in constellation Virgo, from Latin, literally "ear of grain," corresponding to Greek stakhys (see spike (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spica in Science
Spica
  (spī'kə)   
A bright bluish-white binary star in the constellation Virgo, with an apparent magnitude of 0.96. Scientific name: Alpha Virginis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for spica

Spica

brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo and one of the 15 brightest in the entire sky, having an apparent visual magnitude of 0.98. It is a bluish star; spectroscopic examination reveals Spica to be a binary with a four-day period, its two components being of the first and third magnitudes, respectively. Spica lies about 260 light-years from the Earth

Learn more about Spica with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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