Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Taurus from Collins English Dictionary

n Latin genitive Tauri (ˈtɔːraɪ)

1 astronomy a zodiacal constellation in the N hemisphere lying close to Orion and between Aries and Gemini. It contains the star Aldebaran, the star clusters Hyades and Pleiades, and the Crab Nebula

2 astrology a Also called: the Bull the second sign of the zodiac, symbol ♉, having a fixed earth classification and ruled by the planet Venus. The sun is in this sign between about April 20 and May 20 b a person born when the sun is in this sign ▷adj 3 born under or characteristic of Taurus Also (for senses 2b, 3): Taurean (ˈtɔːrɪən, tɔːˈrɪən)

[C14: from Latin: bull]


Summary Article: Taurus, in astronomy
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

[Lat.,= the bull], in astronomy, constellation NW of Orion and lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Gemini and Aries; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Taurus is traditionally depicted as the forepart of a bull, in reference to the Greek legend in which Zeus either assumed the form of a bull himself or sent the bull to carry Europa over the sea to Crete. The constellation contains the bright stars Elnath (Beta Tauri) and Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), long used in navigation. A line extended through and slightly up from Orion's belt will strike Aldebaran. Two notable star clusters, the Pleiades and the Hyades, are found in Taurus, which also includes a number of double stars (observable with small telescopes) and the Crab Nebula (M1). Taurus reaches its highest point in the evening sky in January.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles


Full text Article Taurus
Astronomy Encyclopedia

(GEN. TAURI, ABBR. TAU) Conspicuous northern zodiacal constellation, between Aries and Orion, representing the bull disguise assumed by Zeus...

Full text Article Taurus
Guide to Stars and Planets

Taurus represents the bull into which Jupiter transformed himself when he carried off Europa, daughter of the King of Crete. The red leader of...

Full text Article Taurus, Gemini
Atlas of the Universe

Star Map 17 Taurus is a large and conspicuous Zodiacal constellation, representing the bull into which Jupiter once changed himself for...

See more from Credo