Definition of cynosure in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsīnəˌSHo͝o(ə)r/


[in singular]
A person or thing that is the center of attention or admiration: the Queen was the cynosure of all eyes
More example sentences
  • But then Canary Wharf is not yet, despite the much bruited movement eastward of London's core, a Saturday-night cynosure.
  • The postman, aware that he was the cynosure of all eyes, would strut to the centre of the village and call out names of those whose letters he had brought.
  • In a district where the focus is on religious tourism, with the pilgrims visiting the other places sights incidentally, the Godavari has hardly been made the cynosure it deserves to be.


Late 16th century: from French, or from Latin cynosura, from Greek kunosoura 'dog's tail' (also 'Ursa Minor'), from kuōn, kun- 'dog' + oura 'tail'. The term originally denoted the constellation Ursa Minor, or the star Polaris that it contains, long used as a guide by navigators.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cy·no·sure

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.