Word of The Day for Friday, December 24, 2010


cyn•o•sure (SAHY-nuh-shoor, SIN-uh-)  n

1. a center of attraction or attention
2. one that serves to direct or guide
3. the northern constellation Ursa Minor; also : north star

1565; from M.Fr. cynosure (16c.), from L. Cynosura, lit. "dog's tail," the constellation (now Ursa Minor) containing the North Star, the focus of navigation, from Gk. kynosoura, lit. "dog's tail," from kyon (gen. kynos) + oura "tail"

Related Words: cynic

Sentence Examples:
• Relate how I was born of rich yet honest parents, was reared in the 'nurture and admonition of the Lord,' and, according to the bent of a froward youth, have stumbled along to become the cynosure of a ribald age. -Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions, Slason Thompson

• The present generation is prone to forget that when the rivals met in joint debate fifty years ago, on the prairies of Illinois, it was Senator Douglas, and not Mr. Lincoln, who was the cynosure of all observing eyes. -Stephen A. Douglas, Allen Johnson

• Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
  Whilst the landskip round it measures:
  Russet lawns, and fallows grey,
  Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
  Mountains on whose barren breast
  The labouring clouds do often rest;
  Meadows trim, with daisies pied;
  Shallow brooks, and rivers wide;
  Towers and battlements it sees
  Bosomed high in tufted trees,
  Where perhaps some beauty lies,
  The cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
-L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus, and Lycidas, John Milton

The Storyline
"Hey, guys," she said in a loud voice when she saw that each person's phone had become the cynosure of their private universe.

Sources: Merriam-Webster, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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