From Middle English [Term?] (late 14th century), from Old French zodiaque, from Latin zōdiacus, from Ancient Greek ζῳδιακός [κύκλος] (zōidiakós [kúklos], “[circle] of little animals”), from ζῴδιον (zōídion), the diminutive of ζῷον (zōîon, “animal”).
zodiac (plural zodiacs)
- (astrology) The belt-like region of the celestial sphere approximately eight degrees north and south of the ecliptic, which thousands of years ago included the apparent path of the sun, moon, and planets.
- (astrology) The twelve equal divisions of the astrological zodiacal region into signs, or houses, of the zodiac, each sign named after a constellation in this region.
- (astronomy) The belt-like region of the celestial sphere corresponding to the apparent path of the sun over the course of a year, the ecliptic.
- (countable) A circle decorated with the signs of the zodiac.
- Any of various astrological systems considered similar to the above.
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