1670s, "of or pertaining to Ptolemy," the 2c. Alexandrian astronomer whose geocentric model of the universe was accepted until the time of Copernicus and Kepler. Also (1771) "of the Ptolemies," The Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander to Cleopatra. The earlier form was Ptolemaean (1640s).
updated on January 20, 2021