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Polaris (n.)

1769, short for stella polaris, Modern Latin, literally "the pole star" (see polar). The ancient Greeks called it Phoenice, "the Phoenician (star)," because the Phoenicians used it for navigation. Due to precession of the equinoxes the pole was a few degrees off (closer to Beta Ursae Minoris), evidently it was close enough. Also see pole (n.2). The Old English word for it was Scip-steorra "ship-star," reflecting its importance in navigation. As the name of a U.S. Navy long-range submarine-launched guided nuclear missile, it dates from 1957.

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Definitions of Polaris from WordNet

Polaris (n.)
the brightest star in Ursa Minor; at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper; the northern axis of the earth points toward it;
Synonyms: North Star / pole star / polar star / polestar
From wordnet.princeton.edu