Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
Beau Brummell
termagant
pleiad
Gordon Bennett
pasquinade

Pleiades Star Cluster
Pleiades star cluster
(photo: NASA)

Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pleiad

PRONUNCIATION:
(PLEE-uhd)

MEANING:
noun: A group of (usually seven) brilliant persons or things.

ETYMOLOGY:
After the Pleiades, the seven daughters of the titan Atlas and sea-nymph Pleione in Greek mythology. These seven sisters were Maia, Electra, Celaeno, Taygete, Merope, Alcyone, and Sterope. In one version of the myth, they killed themselves out of grief over the loss of their half sisters the Hyades, and were turned into a group of stars. In another version, they were placed among the stars to protect them from the hunter Orion, though he too became a star to continue to pursue them. Only six of the seven sisters shine brightly in the Pleiades star cluster. The other one is supposed to be Merope, hiding in shame for loving a mortal, or Electra, mourning the death of her son Dardanus.

USAGE:
"'The turbulent 1990s were a time of rapid change and bold, extraordinary people. ... Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, without any exaggeration, belongs among just such a pleiad,' Putin said."
Lynn Berry; Russian Leaders Honor Boris Yeltsin on 1st Anniversary of His Death; Associated Press; Apr 23, 2008.

See more usage examples of pleiad in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Only the educated are free. -Epictetus, philosopher (c. 60-120)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith