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[suhn-dahy-uh l, -dahyl] /ˈsʌnˌdaɪ əl, -ˌdaɪl/
an instrument that indicates the time of day by means of the position, on a graduated plate or surface, of the shadow of the gnomon as it is cast by the sun.
Origin of sundial
1570-80; sun + dial Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sundial
  • The sundial's nocturnal counterpart, the water clock, was designed to measure temporal hours at night.
  • Noon on a well-made, properly paced sundial is whenever the sun is highest right there.
  • The southern parcel contains a playground and the northern parcel has a sundial and large open sloped lawn.
  • T he monument is a sundial featuring a plaque inscribed with the names of our fallen friends.
British Dictionary definitions for sundial


a device indicating the time during the hours of sunlight by means of a stationary arm (the gnomon) that casts a shadow onto a plate or surface marked in hours
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 sundial

1590s, from sun (n.) + dial (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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