One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.
- ‘The four crossbars, or rungs of the ladder, are the four colures, which come together at the pole.’
- ‘The equinoctial colure is a great circle which passes through the celestial poles and the ecliptic at the two equinoxes.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Two great circles, the solstitial colure and the equinoctial colure, intersect at the celestial poles.’
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.
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