Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sundial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It lay upon her soul like the shadow on the sundial, and time was measured by it.

  • You dwell upon the sundial; you mention for a second time the Adams fireplace.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • One had an intihuatana, or sundial nubbin, on it; another was carved in the shape of a saddle.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
  • At the head of the walk was a sundial, and at the further end a fountain.

    Peak's Island Ford Paul
  • The shadow of the sundial fell between us; the garden was still; here and there a leaf fluttered slowly down.

    Under the Red Robe Stanley Weyman
  • A white figure had turned the road by the sundial, and was coming on with the step of a greyhound.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The girls watched breathlessly as he walked slowly into the garden, pausing a short distance from the sundial.

    The Secret of the Sundial Mildred A. Wirt, AKA Ann Wirt
  • The story is related in the third volume of this series, “The Secret of the sundial.”

    The Deserted Yacht Mildred A. Wirt, AKA Ann Wirt
  • In 1635 the upper part was removed by the rector, in order that the portion remaining might be converted into a sundial.

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sundial

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sundial

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sundial

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sundial