1. <astronomy> An imaginary belt in the heavens, 16 deg or 18 deg broad, in the middle of which is the ecliptic, or sun's path. It comprises the twelve constellations, which one constituted, and from which were named, the twelve signs of the zodiac. A figure representing the signs, symbols, and constellations of the zodiac.

2. A girdle; a belt. "By his side, As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword." (Milton)

Origin: F. Zodiaque (cf. It. Zodiaco), fr. L. Zodiacus, Gr. (sc), fr, dim. Of zoon = an animal, akin to living, to live.

(01 Mar 1998)

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