syzygy

syzygy

[siz-i-jee]
noun, plural syzygies.
1.
Astronomy. an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet: Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.
2.
Classical Prosody. a group or combination of two feet, sometimes restricted to a combination of two feet of different kinds.
3.
any two related things, either alike or opposite.

Origin:
1650–60; < Late Latin syzygia < Greek syzygía union, pair, equivalent to sýzyg(os) yoked together (sy- sy- + zyg-, base of zeugnýnai to yoke1 + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -y3

syzygial [si-zij-ee-uhl] , syzygetic [siz-i-jet-ik] , syzygal [siz-i-guhl] , adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
syzygy (ˈsɪzɪdʒɪ)
 
n , pl -gies
1.  either of the two positions (conjunction or opposition) of a celestial body when sun, earth, and the body lie in a straight line: the moon is at syzygy when full
2.  (in classical prosody) a metrical unit of two feet
3.  rare any pair, usually of opposites
4.  biology the aggregation in a mass of certain protozoans, esp when occurring before sexual reproduction
 
[C17: from Late Latin syzygia, from Greek suzugia, from suzugos yoked together, from syn- + zugon a yoke]
 
syzygial
 
adj
 
syzygetic
 
adj
 
syzygal
 
adj
 
syzy'getically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

syzygy
"conjunction or opposition of a heavenly body with the sun," 1656, from L.L. syzygia, from Gk. syzygia "yoke, pair, union of two, conjunction," from syzygein "to yoke together," from syn- "together" + zygon "yoke" (see jugular).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

syzygy syz·y·gy (sĭz'ə-jē)
n.

  1. The association of gregarine protozoa end-to-end or in lateral pairing without sexual fusion.

  2. The pairing of chromosomes in meiosis.


sy·zyg'i·al (sĭ-zĭj'ē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
syzygy   (sĭz'ə-jē)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the Sun.

    1. Either of the two points in the orbit of the Moon when it lies in a straight line with the Sun and Earth. A new moon syzygy occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth; a full moon syzygy occurs when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.

    2. The configuration of the Sun, Moon, and Earth when lying in a straight line.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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