Definition of cynosure in US English:



  • A person or thing that is the center of attention or admiration.

    ‘the Queen was the cynosure of all eyes’
    • ‘The cynosure on the evening in question was the American tenor who sang the part of Faust.’
    • ‘It is beauticians who make brides and bridegrooms the cynosure of all eyes.’
    • ‘A girl, who donned the dress of Radha, was the cynosure of all eyes for her elegant movements and facial expressions.’
    • ‘But then Canary Wharf is not yet, despite the much bruited movement eastward of London's core, a Saturday-night cynosure.’
    • ‘The postman, aware that he was the cynosure of all eyes, would strut to the centre of the village and call out names of those whose letters he had brought.’
    • ‘The novel air cooler that runs on solar power instead of electricity was the cynosure of all eyes.’
    • ‘The towering spires, soaring vaults and sturdy columns of this Gothic church make it the cynosure of a visitor's eye.’
    • ‘In a district where the focus is on religious tourism, with the pilgrims visiting the other places sights incidentally, the Godavari has hardly been made the cynosure it deserves to be.’
    • ‘This 19-year-old South African athlete, who took to swimming at the age of six, out of love, was the cynosure of the capacity crowd at the swimming pool.’
    • ‘The lead guitarist, in particular, was the cynosure of all eyes.’
    • ‘The items sold were the cynosure of art collectors from all over the world.’
    • ‘The group dance event, however, seemed to be the cynosure of all eyes, with audience expressing their appreciation with loud whistles and applause after every item.’
    • ‘The elegant sculptures in bronze, white metal and ceramics were the cynosure of connoisseurs.’
    • ‘They are the cynosure of all eyes with their remarkable somersaults cutting across each other's paths in perfect unison.’
    • ‘The man, the cynosure of all eyes at the packed auditorium, spoke from the bottom of his heart.’
    • ‘How proudly she had strutted around that day, the cynosure of all eyes.’
    • ‘When the Millbank building was opened in 1897, contemporary British art was the cynosure of the world.’
    • ‘A 12-needle multi-colour computerised machine for embroidering anything from bed-sheets and pillow-covers to caps and jackets was the cynosure on all eyes on Thursday.’
    • ‘Naturally, the film personalities queuing up with their tickets before boarding the wide-bodied jet liner were the cynosure of all eyes.’
    centre, focal point, central point, centre of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, cornerstone, linchpin, kingpin, bedrock, basis, anchor, backbone
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Late 16th century: from French, or from Latin cynosura, from Greek kunosoura ‘dog's tail’ (also ‘Ursa Minor’), from kuōn, kun- ‘dog’ + oura ‘tail’. The term originally denoted the constellation Ursa Minor, or the pole star which it contains, long used as a guide by navigators.