Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Zenith'
n : the point above the observer that is directly opposite the
nadir on the imaginary sphere against which celestial
bodies appear to be projected [ant: nadir]
- Zenith \Ze"nith\ (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F.
z['e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt-urras way
of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras
head. Cf. Azimuth.]
- That point in the visible celestial hemisphere which is vertical to the spectator; the point of the heavens directly overhead; -- opposed to nadir. From morn To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, A summer's day; and with the setting sun Dropped from the zenith, like a falling star. --Milton.
- hence, figuratively, the point of culmination; the greatest height; the height of success or prosperity. I find my zenith doth depend upon A most auspicious star. --Shak. This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. --Mrs. Barbauld. It was during those civil troubles . . . this aspiring family reached the zenith. --Macaulay. Zenith distance. (Astron.) See under Distance. Zenith sector. (Astron.) See Sector, 3. Zenith telescope (Geodesy), a telescope specially designed for determining the latitude by means of any two stars which pass the meridian about the same time, and at nearly equal distances from the zenith, but on opposite sides of it. It turns both on a vertical and a horizontal axis, is provided with a graduated vertical semicircle, and a level for setting it to a given zenith distance, and with a micrometer for measuring the difference of the zenith distances of the two stars.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Zenith'
In general terms, the zenith is the direction pointing directly "above" a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at the location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. The concept of "above" is more specifically defined in astronomy, geophysics and related sciences (e.g., meteorology) as the vertical direction opposite to the net gravitational force at a given location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction of the gravitational force is called the nadir. The term zenith also refers to the highest point reached by a celestial body during its apparent orbit around a given point of observation. This sense of the word is often used to describe the location of the Sun, but it is only technically accurate for one latitude at a time and only possible at the low latitudes.[See more about Zenith at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Zenith'