| zeno of citium
| zeno of elea
, OF. cenith
, F. zénith
, Sp. zenit
, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt-urras
way of the head, vertical place; samt
way, path + al
the + ras
head. Cf. Azimuth
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.
That point in the visible celestial hemisphere which is vertical to the spectator; the point of the heavens directly overhead; -- opposed to nadir
. [1913 Webster
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."
hence, figuratively, the point of culmination; the greatest height; the height of success or prosperity. [1913 Webster
"I find my zenith doth depend upon
A most auspicious star."
"This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars."
"It was during those civil troubles . . . this aspiring family reached the zenith."
1 the part of the celestial sphere directly above an observer (opp. NADIR).
2 the highest point in one's fortunes; a time of great prosperity etc.
zenith distance an arc intercepted between a celestial body and its zenith; the complement of a body's altitude.
ME f. OF cenit or med.L cenit ult. f. Arab. samt (ar-ra' s) path (over the head)
n. The point in the heavens directly overhead to a man
standing or a growing cabbage. A man in bed or a cabbage in the pot
is not considered as having a zenith, though from this view of the
matter there was once a considerably dissent among the learned, some
holding that the posture of the body was immaterial. These were
called Horizontalists, their opponents, Verticalists. The
Horizontalist heresy was finally extinguished by Xanobus, the
philosopher-king of Abara, a zealous Verticalist. Entering an
assembly of philosophers who were debating the matter, he cast a
severed human head at the feet of his opponents and asked them to
determine its zenith, explaining that its body was hanging by the
heels outside. Observing that it was the head of their leader, the
Horizontalists hastened to profess themselves converted to whatever
opinion the Crown might be pleased to hold, and Horizontalism took its
place among _fides defuncti_.
Olympian heights, acme, aerial heights, apex, apogee, authority, authorization, be-all and end-all, blue ribbon, brow, cap, capstone, championship, climax, cloud nine, command, control, crest, crown, culmen, culmination, directorship, dizzy heights, dominion, edge, effectiveness, elevation, eminence, ether, extreme limit, extremity, first place, first prize, headship, heaven, heavens, hegemony, height, heights, high noon, high point, highest, highest pitch, highest point, imperium, influence, jurisdiction, kingship, leadership, lift, limit, lordship, management, mastership, mastery, maximum, meridian, most, mountaintop, ne plus ultra, new high, no place higher, noon, palms, paramountcy, peak, pinnacle, pitch, point, pole, power, presidency, primacy, raise, record, ridge, rise, rising ground, rule, say, seventh heaven, sky, sovereignty, spire, steep, stratosphere, summit, supremacy, sway, tip, tip-top, top, top spot, upmost, upper extremity, uppermost, uprise, utmost, vantage ground, vantage point, vertex, very top
summit, summity, top, peak, vertex, apex, zenith
, pinnacle, acme, culmination, meridian, utmost height, ne plus utra, height, pitch, maximum, climax, culminating point, crowning point, turning point, turn of the tide, fountain head, water shed, water parting, sky, pole, tip, tip top, crest, crow's nest, cap, truck, nib, end, crown, brow, head, nob, noddle, pate, capsheaf, high places, heights, topgallant mast, sky scraper, quarter deck, hurricane deck, architrave, frieze, cornice, coping stone, zoophorus, capital, epistyle, sconce, pediment, entablature, tympanum, ceiling, attic, loft, garret, house top, upper story, summit conference, summit, peak of achievement, peak of performance, peaks and troughs, peaks and valleys (in graphs), highest &c (high), top, top most, upper most, tiptop, culminating, meridian, meridional, capital, head, polar, supreme, supernal, topgallant, atop, at the top of the tree, en flute, fleur deau.
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