wandering star

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Calque of Ancient Greek ἀστὴρ πλανήτης (astḕr planḗtēs) as distinguished from the fixed stars.


wandering star (plural wandering stars)

  1. A planet.
    • 1877, Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, The planetary and stellar worlds:
      Might it not be possible, that this wandering star would pass by the sun and reappear in the east?
    • 1988, Alan Richardson, A Mental Theater:
      [...] Or warring with the spirits who may dare Dispute with him Who made all empire, empire; or recalling Some wandering star, which shoots through the abyss Whose tenants dying, while their world is falling Share the dim destiny of clay in this.
    • 2000, Linda Goodman, Linda Goodman's Star Signs:
      The word planet is an old Greek word meaning "wandering star" (planets wander, Fixed Stars do not) — so either term is correct, although modern popular usage is planet. I like star. Especially "wandering star."
    • 2005, Constance Stellas, Advanced Astrology for Life:
      In ancient times, a fixed star was so named to distinguish it from a wandering star or planet.
    • 2009, Gardner Dozois, The Year's Best Science Fiction:
      Now he turned his flight, a prayer short of light-speed, towards the wandering star. Jedden had long ago abolished fear. Yet he experienced a strange psychosomatic sensation in that part of the splinter ship that corresponded to his testicles.