god of fire and metal-work in Roman mythology, 1510s, from Latin Vulcanus, Volcanus, according to Klein a word of Etruscan origin. Often with allusions to his lameness and the unfaithfulness of his wife, Venus. As the name of a hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun, it is attested from 1860 in English (see intramercurial). The Roman feast of Vulcanalia was on Aug. 23.
updated on October 10, 2017
Dictionary entries near Vulcan