sun dog

sundog

[suhn-dawg, -dog]
noun
2.
a small or incomplete rainbow.

Origin:
1625–35; origin uncertain

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sundog (ˈsʌnˌdɒɡ)
 
n
1.  another word for parhelion
2.  a small rainbow or halo near the horizon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sundog
"mock sun, parhelion," 1653, of obscure origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sun dog

atmospheric optical phenomenon appearing in the sky as luminous spots 22 on each side of the Sun and at the same elevation as the Sun. Usually, the edges closest to the Sun will appear reddish. Other colours are occasionally visible, but more often the outer portions of each spot appear whitish.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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