1. Relating to the stars; starry; astral; as, sidereal astronomy.

2. <astronomy> Measuring by the apparent motion of the stars; designated, marked out, or accompanied, by a return to the same position in respect to the stars; as, the sidereal revolution of a planet; a sidereal day. Sidereal clock, day, month, year. See Clock, Day, etc. Sideral time, time as reckoned by sideral days, or, taking the sidereal day as the unit, the time elapsed since a transit of the vernal equinox, reckoned in parts of a sidereal day. This is, strictly, apparent sidereal time, mean sidereal time being reckoned from the transit, not of the true, but of the mean, equinoctial point.

Origin: L. Sidereus, from sidus, sideris, a constellation, a star. Cf. Sideral, Consider, Desire.

(01 Mar 1998)

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