Astronomy | Definition of Astronomy by Merriam-Webster

: the study of objects and matter outside the earth’s atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties

Some may find it easy to confuse astronomy and astrology. At one time, these two words actually were synonymous (that is, astronomy once meant what astrology means today), but they have since moved apart from each other. In current use, astronomy is concerned with the study of objects and matter outside the earth’s atmosphere, while astrology is the purported divination of how stars and planets influence our lives. Put bluntly, astronomy is a science, and astrology is not.

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12th century, in the meaning defined above

Middle English astronomie, from Anglo-French, from Latin astronomia, from Greek, from astr- + -nomia -nomy

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

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: a science concerned with objects and matter outside the earth’s atmosphere and of their motions and makeup

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