vernal point

vernal equinox

noun
1.
See under equinox ( def 1 ).
2.
Also called vernal point. the position of the sun at the time of the vernal equinox.

Origin:
1525–35

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
vernal equinox
 
n
1.  the time at which the sun crosses the plane of the equator towards the relevant hemisphere, making day and night of equal length. It occurs about March 21 in the N hemisphere (Sept 23 in the S hemisphere)
2.  a.  astronomy the point, lying in the constellation Pisces, at which the sun's ecliptic intersects the celestial equator
 b.  the time at which this occurs as the sun travels south to north (March 21)

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

equinox
late 14c., from O.Fr. equinoxe, from M.L. equinoxium "equality of night (and day)," from L. aequinoctium, from aequus "equal" + nox (gen. noctis) "night." The O.E. translation was efnniht. Related: Equinoctial.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vernal equinox   (vûr'nəl)  Pronunciation Key 
See under equinox.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
equinox [(ee-kwuh-noks, ek-wuh-noks)]

The twice yearly times when the lengths of day and night are equal. At equinox, the sun is directly over the Earth's equator. The vernal equinox occurs about March 22 and the autumnal equinox about September 21.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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