Zodiac



an imaginary belt of the heavens, extending about 8° on each side of the ecliptic, within which are the apparent paths of the sun, moon, and principal planets. It contains twelve constellations and hence twelve divisions called signs of the zodiac. Each division, however, because of the precession of the equinoxes, now contains the constellation west of the one from which it took its name.
Compare .
a circular or elliptical diagram representing this belt, and usually containing pictures of the animals, human figures, etc., that are associated with the constellations and signs.
a circuit or round.
Contemporary Examples

Part of the confusion, says Brezsny, is that the constellations and the zodiac names are the same.
Zodiac Signs Change? Tricia Romano January 13, 2011

From the resourceful rat to the fertile pig, the 12 zodiac heads ostensibly represent different periods in the Chinese calendar.
‘Circle of Animals’: Sculptures of a Silenced Artist Lizzie Crocker May 4, 2011

The zodiac mod vaporizer I admired behind the glass in BeyondVape is gorgeous, but it also costs $220.
This Is Your E-Cigarette on Drugs Daniel Genis July 27, 2014

This second zodiac sign rules the human age of innocence, 7-14 years.
Zodiac Beast: April 24-30 Starsky + Cox April 22, 2011

Leo is strategic, the queen on the chessboard, the prime mover of the zodiac.
The Stars Predict Your Week Starsky + Cox August 12, 2011

Historical Examples

It contained a dozen proper bleeding points, each suited for use under a sign of the zodiac.
Bloodletting Instruments in the National Museum of History and Technology Audrey Davis

He set in heaven the Stars of the zodiac which are their likenesses.
The Babylonian Legends of the Creation British Museum

People born in this period are represented in the zodiac by the symbolism of the twins.
Palmistry for All Cheiro

On the probable Chinese origin of the zodiac see Schlegel, loc.
The Hindu-Arabic Numerals David Eugene Smith

We next come to the eighth constellation of the zodiac, which is one of the most beautiful of this belt of stars.
Astronomy for Amateurs Camille Flammarion

noun
an imaginary belt extending 8° either side of the ecliptic, which contains the 12 zodiacal constellations and within which the moon and planets appear to move. It is divided into 12 equal areas, called signs of the zodiac, each named after the constellation which once lay in it See zodiacal constellation
(astrology) a diagram, usually circular, representing this belt and showing the symbols, illustrations, etc, associated with each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, used to predict the future
(rare) a complete circuit; circle
n.

late 14c., from Old French zodiaque, from Latin zodiacus “zodiac,” from Greek zodiakos (kyklos) “zodiac (circle),” literally “circle of little animals,” from zodiaion, diminutive of zoion “animal” (see zoo).

Libra is not an animal, but it was not a zodiac constellation to the Greeks, who reckoned 11 but counted Scorpio and its claws (including what is now Libra) as a “double constellation.” Libra was figured back in by the Romans. In Old English the zodiac was twelf tacna “the twelve signs,” and in Middle English also Our Ladye’s Waye and the Girdle of the Sky.
zodiac
(zō’dē-āk’)
A band of the celestial sphere extending about eight degrees north and south of the ecliptic, representing the portion of the sky within which the paths of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets are found. In astrology, the zodiac is divided into 12 equal segments, each of which is named after a constellation through which the ecliptic passes in that region of the sky. The traditional beginning point of constellations is Aries, followed in calendrical order by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. See also equinox.

A band of the sky along which the sun, the moon, and most of the planets move. It is divided into twelve parts, with each part named for a nearby constellation.

Note: The twelve constellations, or signs, of the zodiac are important in astrology.

The imaginary band in the sky through which the sun, the moon, and the planets appear to move. The twelve constellations in the band (Aquarius, Pisces, and so on) are the familiar signs of the zodiac used in astrology.

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