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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.
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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Encyclopedia Article for sundial

the earliest type of timekeeping device, which indicates the time of day by the position of the shadow of some object exposed to the Sun's rays. As the day progresses, the Sun moves across the sky, causing the shadow of the object to move and indicating the passage of time. .

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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