also siderial, 1630s, "star-like;" 1640s, "of or pertaining to the stars," earlier sideral (1590s), from French sidereal (16c.), from Latin sidereus "starry, astral, of the constellations," from sidus (genitive sideris) "star, group of stars, constellation," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *sweid- "to shine" (source also of Lithuanian svidus "shining, bright").
The sense in sidereal time, motion, etc. is "determined or measured by the apparent motion of the fixed stars," and is attested by 1680s. The sidereal day begins and ends with the passage of the vernal equinox over the meridian and is about four minutes shorter than the solar day, measured by the passage of the sun over the meridian.
1680s, in anatomy, "an interlacing of nerves, vessels, or fibers," Modern Latin, literally "braid, network," noun use of past participle of Latin plectere "to twine, braid, fold," from suffixed form of PIE root *plek- "to plait." Original use in solar plexus "network of nerves in the abdomen" (see solar). General sense of "net-like arrangement of parts" is from 1760s. Related: Plexal.
"occurring every 11 years," 1858, in reference to solar activity cycle, from Latin undecim "eleven" + ending from biennial, etc.
c. 1200, "divine office prescribed for each of the seven canonical hours; the daily service at the canonical hours;" c. 1300, "time of day appointed for prayer, one of the seven canonical hours," from Old French ore, hore "canonical hour; one-twelfth of a day" (sunrise to sunset), from Latin hora "an hour;" poetically "time of year, season," from Greek hōra a word used to indicate any limited time within a year, month, or day (from PIE *yor-a-, from root *yer- "year, season;" see year).
Church sense is oldest in English. Meaning "one of the 24 equal parts of a natural solar day (time from one sunrise to the next), equal hour; definite time of day or night reckoned in equal hours," and that of "one of the 12 equal parts of an artificial day (sunrise to sunset) or night, varying in duration according to the season; definite time of day or night reckoned in unequal hours" are from late 14c. In the Middle Ages the planets were held to rule over the unequal hours. As late as 16c. distinction sometimes was made in English between temporary (unequal) hours and sidereal (equal) ones. Meaning "time of a particular happening; the time for a given activity" (as in hour of death) is mid-14c.
The h- has persisted in this word despite not being pronounced since Roman times. Replaced Old English tid, literally "time" (see tide (n.)) and stund "period of time, point of time, hour," from Proto-Germanic *stundo (compare German Stunde "hour"), which is of uncertain origin. German Uhr likewise is from French.
Greek hora could mean "a season; 'the season' (spring or summer)." In classical times it sometimes meant "a part of the day," such as morning, evening, noon, night. The Greek astronomers apparently borrowed the notion of dividing the day into twelve parts (mentioned in Herodotus) from the Babylonians. Night continued to be divided into four watches (see watch (n.)); but because the amount of daylight changed throughout the year, the hours were not fixed or of equal length.
As a measure of distance ("the distance that can be covered in an hour") it is recorded from 1785. At all hours "at all times" is from early 15c. For small hours (those with low numbers) see wee (adj.).
"to insert a day into the calendar," 1610s, from Latin intercalatus, past participle of intercalare "to proclaim the insertion of an intercalary day," from inter "between" (see inter-) + calare "to call" (an intercalary day; see calendar). Sometimes used in a general sense, "to insert between others" (1824). Related: Intercalated; intercalating.
A necessary process in the Roman calendar to balance the solar and lunar aspects of it. Intercalation was done after Feb. 23 or 24 (the terminalia), every two or four years. Twenty-seven days were intercalated, making a full intercalary month (which included the last four or five days of Februarius), known as mensis intercalaris (and also known, according to Plutarch, as Mercedonius). No one now knows why the intercalation was done in the middle of February rather than after its end, unless it was because the important festivals at the end of that month (Regifugium and Equirra) were closely associated with holidays in early March. After Caesar's reform (46 B.C.E.) the only intercalary day is Feb. 29 every four years.
"the whole natural day, a day and a night, twenty-four hours," 1680s, from Greek nykhthēmeron "a day and a night," from nykt-, a combining form of nyx "night" (see night) + hēmera "day," from PIE *Hehmer "day."
Egyptian goddess, from Greek Isis, from Egyptian Hes, female deity identified by the Greeks with Io. She is distinguished in visual representations by the solar disc and cow horns on her head.