There are 2 main definitions of atlas in English:


Syllabification: at·las
Pronunciation: /ˈatləs


1 (plural atlases) A book of maps or charts: I looked in the atlas to find a map of Italy a road atlas
More example sentences
  • Since they were all manuscript, no two charts or atlases were alike in size, decoration or cartographic content.
  • Picture one of those mileage charts you get in the front of road atlases.
  • By 1650, two-thirds of the continent's coast were thus widely known not only in Europe, but also wherever Dutch charts, atlases, and globes were distributed.
1.1A book of illustrations or diagrams on any subject: Atlas of Surgical Operations
More example sentences
  • And, finally, he published his illustrated obstetric atlas in 1754.
  • One crucial element was the emergence in the eighteenth century of a new genre of scientific publication: the illustrated obstetric atlas.
  • Illustrated by Gerard de Lairesse, Bidloo's atlas shows the actual tools and arrangements of the dissecting table.
2 (plural atlases) (also atlas vertebra) Anatomy The topmost vertebra of the backbone, articulating with the occipital bone of the skull.
More example sentences
  • There is a well-developed atlas and the caudal vertebrae can be distinguished from the trunk vertebrae by the presence of hemal arches.
  • Neither the atlas nor the second vertebra bears ribs.
  • The atlas may be fused with the occipital bone in varying degrees.
3 (plural atlantes /atˈlantēz/) Architecture A stone carving of a male figure, used as a column to support the entablature of a Greek or Greek-style building.
More example sentences
  • Among its wealth of neoclassical details are the legs in the shape of inverted obelisks, the torsos of draped and winged caryatids and atlantes, and the allegorical figure (possibly Summer).
  • Meanwhile, the caryatids and atlantes just watch, waiting.
  • He has designed atlantes to support the temple at the top of John Simpson's towering column, and an art-deco-inspired grouping of gods and titans for the pediment midway up Franck Lohsen McCrery's building.


late 16th century (originally denoting a person who supported a great burden): via Latin from Greek Atlas, the god who held up the pillars of the universe and whose picture appeared at the front of early atlases.

Definition of atlas in:

There are 2 main definitions of atlas in English:


Syllabification: At·las
Pronunciation: /ˈatləs
Greek Mythology
One of the Titans, who was punished for his part in their revolt against Zeus by being made to support the heavens. He became identified with the Atlas Mountains.



Pronunciation: /ˌatlanˈtēən, atˈlantēən/

Definition of atlas in: