Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

Comprehensive
Dictionary Suite
Help
Help
Help
 
   
Display options
Show syllables
Show Lookup History
Double-Click Lookup
  Show Spanish support
 
Pronunciation
Wordsmyth
  Phonics
  IPA
 
Entry formats
Standard
  Classic
 
Lookup History
atlas

at·las

atlas

 
 
pronunciation:
aet lihs
features:
Word History, Word Explorer
part of speech: noun
definition 1: (cap.) a giant in Greek mythology who had to support the heavens on his shoulders.
definition 2: a book of maps, tables, or charts.
We turned to the page in the atlas that showed a map of Canada.
Word History
Greek mythology tells of a giant whose punishment was to hold up the universe on his shoulders. This giant's name was Atlas. Artists drew pictures of Atlas holding up a globe that was meant to be the heavens. In the 1600s, a mapmaker named Mercator used such a picture on the cover of his book of maps. A collection of maps became known as an "atlas."
Word Explorer
See
  book, geography, myth