• WordNet 3.6
    • n Centaur a conspicuous constellation in the southern hemisphere near the Southern Cross
    • n centaur (classical mythology) a mythical being that is half man and half horse
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Centaur (Astron) A constellation in the southern heavens between Hydra and the Southern Cross.
    • Centaur (Class. Myth) A fabulous being, represented as half man and half horse.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n centaur In Greek myth, a monster, half man and half horse, descended from Ixion and Nephele, the cloud. The myth is probably of Eastern origin. The centaurs, supposed to have inhabited Thessaly, were rude and savage beings, embodying the destructive and ungovernable forces of nature. Chiron, the wise instructor of Achilles, and Pholus, the friend of Hercules, were beneficent centaurs. In art the centaur was originally represented as a complete man, to whose body were attached, behind, the barrel and hind quarters of a horse; later this ungainly combination was abandoned, and was universally replaced by the form in which the human body to the waist took the place of the head and neck of the horse. Examples of the primitive type of centaur survive on archaic painted vases, in a few small bronzes, terra-cottas, etc., among the reliefs from the temple of Assos, and in certain wall-paintings.
    • n centaur The constellation Centaurus.
    • n centaur In heraldry See sagittary.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Centaur sen′tawr a fabulous monster, half-man, half-horse
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. centaurus, Gr. Ke`ntayros
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—Gr. kentauros; ety. dub.


In literature:

This is a star of the first magnitude, Alpha in the constellation of the Centaur.
"The Astronomy of the Bible" by E. Walter Maunder
Saturn produc'd The Centaur doubly-shap'd, in form a steed.
"The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II" by Ovid
He was the centaur again.
"They of the High Trails" by Hamlin Garland
She rides horseback and fences to show off her figure, and someone called her a Centaur.
"Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess" by Henry W. Fischer
To ride well is to recreate the fabulous centaur of Thessaly.
"Dwellers in the Hills" by Melville Davisson Post
Let not the monsters of Chinese earthenware be confounded with the Faun, Satyr, or Centaur.
"Modern Painters Volume II (of V)" by John Ruskin
A good impulse, a dream, an idea, were for him what a Centaur or a Pegasus were for common fancy.
"Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle" by H. N. Brailsford
How should we treat people who believed that centaurs could be seen now?
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
Our modern sympathies are apt to side with the giants and centaurs.
"Five Stages of Greek Religion" by Gilbert Murray
Thus, centaur-like, they went, with more than twice the power that either by itself possessed.
"The Preacher of Cedar Mountain" by Ernest Thompson Seton

In poetry:

Will people accept them?
(i.e. these songs).
As a timorous wench from a centaur
(or a centurion),
Already they flee, howling in terror.
"Tenzone" by Ezra Pound
Up came the young Centaur-colts from the plains they were
fathered in—
Curious, awkward, afraid.
Burrs on their hocks and their tails, they were branded and gathered in
Mobs and run up to the yard to be made.
"The Centaurs" by Rudyard Kipling
And then he came—my master I Lissome and iron-thighed,
Lord of the earth's wild horses, riding as Centaurs ride.
Boldly I battled beneath him; I matched my strength with his own.
I had thrown a hundred riders. He was not born to be thrown !
"The Outlaw" by William Henry Ogilvie
Look. And the dancers move
On the departed, snow bushed green, wanton in moon light
As a dust of pigeons. Exulting, the grave hooved
Horses, centaur dead, turn and tread the drenched white
Paddocks in the farms of birds. The dead oak walks for love.
"A Winter's Tale" by Dylan Thomas

In news:

The Krewe of Centaur 's Mardi Gras Parade will be held on Saturday, February 2 2013.
Centaurus A, about 12 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Centaurus (the Centaur ), was discovered in 1826 by British astronomer James Dunlop using the Parramatta observatory in Australia.
The plane of our galaxy slices through the southern edge of Centaurus the Centaur , making one of the largest constellations also one of the starriest.
The former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star replaces Pierce Brosnan, who played Chiron the centaur in the first film.
Like a hungry hammer finds a perfect nail, Egan and the Yat found Shreveport's Krewe of Centaur Parade of 2012.
Instruments successfully captured each phase of the impact sequence — the impact flash, the ejecta plume, and the creation of the Centaur crater.
The Centaur rocket carrying LCROSS will remain in orbit with the satellite until October 9.
Chiron was the name given to a particularly special centaur in the Pantheon of Greek gods.
And is the Clay Matthews option a centaur situation, or just a really big Clay Matthews.
Or was he the centaur from Lord of the Rings.
INTERVIEWS 'Cobra Juicy' and Erotic Centaurs: The Weird World of Black Moth Super Rainbow.
Photo/Lucetg Catherine Lemieux (left) and Johanna Nutter in the Centaur Theatre production of the Tony Award-winning play "Good People".
They are following their usual parade route which is the exact opposite of last weekend's Centaur route.
Long-forgotten Shuttle/Centaur boosted Cleveland's NASA center into manned space program and controversy (video).
View full size NASA This illustration shows what the Shuttle/Centaur booster would have looked like after being released from the shuttle's cargo bay, as it prepares to deliver a satellite to higher orbit.

In science:

We fi nd evidence for the existence of two color groups among the Centaurs.
Reopening the TNOs Color Controversy: Centaurs Bimodality and TNOs Unimodality
Therefore, mixing both centaurs and TNOs populations lead to the erroneous conclusion of a global bimodality, while there is no evidence for two color groups in the TNOs population alone.
Reopening the TNOs Color Controversy: Centaurs Bimodality and TNOs Unimodality
With the surface evolution model of Delsanti at al. (2003) we discuss how the existence of two groups of Centaurs may be compatible with a continuous TNOs color distribution.
Reopening the TNOs Color Controversy: Centaurs Bimodality and TNOs Unimodality
Currently, more than 700 of them have been detected. A different class of objects, the Centaurs, was found by Kowal & Gehrels (1977); to date, more than 40 of these objects are known.
Reopening the TNOs Color Controversy: Centaurs Bimodality and TNOs Unimodality
We conclude that Centaurs’ population is indeed composed by two separate B − R color groups with strong evidence for a dominating V − R bimodality.
Reopening the TNOs Color Controversy: Centaurs Bimodality and TNOs Unimodality