Definition of colure in English:



  • Either of two great circles intersecting at right angles at the celestial poles and passing through the ecliptic at either the equinoxes or the solstices.

    • ‘Two great circles, the solstitial colure and the equinoctial colure, intersect at the celestial poles.’
    • ‘Thus after seventy-two years the colure of the vernal equinox which passed through a fixed star, corresponds with another fixed star.’
    • ‘The relative precision of the constellations, the path of the Milky Way, and information on the parallels and colures is therefore even more remarkable.’
    • ‘The equinoctial colure is a great circle which passes through the celestial poles and the ecliptic at the two equinoxes.’
    • ‘The four crossbars, or rungs of the ladder, are the four colures, which come together at the pole.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin coluri (plural), from Greek kolourai (grammai) ‘truncated (lines)’, from kolouros ‘truncated’, so named because the lower part is permanently cut off from view.