One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Intended for or concerned with the measurement or recording of shadows cast by the sun, especially as a means of finding the time of day (as with a sundial). Also as noun: a sundial (rare).
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Tomkis (b. c1580), playwright. From post-classical Latin sciathericus, sciotericus, sciothericus sciatheric + -al.
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