Wednesday, September 12, 2012


cynosure [ˈsaɪnəˌʃʊər] n.

1.) The northern constellation Ursa Minor, which contains in its tail the Pole-star; also applied to the Pole-star itself.
2.) fig. Something that serves for guidance or direction; a ‘guiding star’. Something that attracts attention by its brilliancy or beauty; a centre of attraction, interest, or admiration (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: adoption of the French cynosure (16th c.), which was an adaptation of the Latin cynosūra, itself an adoption of the Greek κυνόσουρα = dog's tail, Ursa Minor.

"Shakespeare's women are not content to be mere cynosures; they are the pursuers of the men, as Bernard Shaw pointed out in a characteristic overstatement. The battle of the sexes becomes a banter of wits" ("General Introduction" to The Riverside Shakespeare, Harry Levin, 1974).

(Dante and Beatrice, Henry Holiday, 1883)


D4 said...

I like this. I can use this.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I confused this term with sinecure.

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

OOOH so "But I'm lost, crushed, cold and confused with no CYNOSURE left inside..."

*needs to stop making Muse references outside of Tumblr*

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