Definition of astronomy in US English:



  • The branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

    In ancient times, observation of the sun, moon, stars, and planets formed the basis of timekeeping and navigation. Astronomy was greatly furthered by the invention of the optical telescope, but modern observations are made in all parts of the spectrum, including X-ray and radio frequencies, using terrestrial and orbiting instruments and space probes

    • ‘This is an area of astronomy in which amateurs are able to make vital contributions to our knowledge base.’
    • ‘Newton, too, chose to work principally in the more traditional field of planetary astronomy.’
    • ‘Supernovae are among the most spectacular phenomena known to astronomy.’
    • ‘Ancient India is also described as the original home of mathematics, astronomy and medicine.’
    • ‘From his works we know that Kushyar was primarily an astronomer who wrote texts on astronomy and geography.’
    • ‘Padua was famous for its medical school and while he was there Copernicus studied both medicine and astronomy.’
    • ‘Horrocks was educated at Cambridge, where he pursued his passion for astronomy and mathematics.’
    • ‘He held university chairs in astronomy, physics and mathematics as well as working as an architect.’
    • ‘He studied physics as his main subject but took mathematics, astronomy and chemistry as minor subjects.’
    • ‘One of the hallmarks of his spell as Astronomer Royal is his popularization of astronomy.’
    • ‘An inquiry into the effect of light pollution on astronomy was published last year.’
    • ‘He made a number of contributions to mathematics, physics and astronomy.’
    • ‘In 1751 he went to the University of Utrecht to lecture on mathematics and astronomy.’
    • ‘Secondly, astronomy is one of the few sciences in which the amateur can play a really useful role.’
    • ‘It was not only in mathematics and astronomy, however, that Newcomb made major contributions.’
    • ‘Analysis was driven by the requirements of mathematical physics and astronomy.’
    • ‘Although he studied mathematics and astronomy at Cambridge, he was also interested in biology.’
    • ‘Gergonne was appointed to the chair of astronomy at the University of Montpellier in 1816.’
    • ‘Topics other than mathematics also interested him, especially physics and astronomy.’
    • ‘In addition to his mathematical work, Talbot also published on astronomy and physics.’


Middle English (also denoting astrology): from Old French astronomie, from Latin astronomia, from Greek, from astronomos (adjective) ‘star-arranging’.