Betelgeuse Definition

bētl-jo͝oz, bĕtl-jœz
A bright-red intrinsic variable star, 527 light years from Earth, in the constellation Orion.
American Heritage
A reddish, supergiant variable star in the constellation Orion: magnitude, 0.45
Webster's New World

(astronomy) A bright-red supergiant intrinsic variable star, the second brightest star in the constellation Orion; Alpha (α) Orionis. It is the tenth brightest star in the nighttime, and one of the largest stars known.


Origin of Betelgeuse

  • Jawzā, ‘the central one’, initially referred to Gemini among the Arabs, but at some point they decided to refer to Orion by that name. During the Middle Ages the first character of the name, yā’ (ي, with two dots under it), was misread as a bā’ (ب, with one dot under it) when transliterating into Latin, and Yad al-Jauza became Bedalgeuze. This was then misinterpreted during the Renaissance as deriving from a corruption of an original Arabic form إبط الجوزل ibt al-jawzā ‘armpit of the central one’.

    From Wiktionary

  • French Bételgeuse ultimately from Arabic yad al-jawzā’ yad hand yd in Semitic roots al- the jawzā’ Gemini (later also used for Orion) (perhaps from jawz middle (Gemini perhaps originally being so called because it crossed the middle of the sky, and Orion later being so called because of the three bright stars in the middle of the constellation, forming Orion's belt) ) (from jāza to pass through gwz in Semitic roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Ultimately from an alteration of the Arabic يد الجوزا yad al-jawzā ‘hand of the central one’, from يد (“hand”) + جوزا (“central one”).

    From Wiktionary

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