cynosure \SIE-nuh-shoor or SIN-uh-shoor\ (noun) 1 capitalized : the northern constellation Ursa Minor; also : North Star 2 : one that serves to direct or guide *3 : a center of attraction or attention Example sentence: "The fair young Queen," wrote Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, referring to Marie Antoinette, "... walks like a goddess of Beauty, the cynosure of all eyes." Did you know? Ancient mariners noted that all the stars in the heavens seem to revolve around Polaris, and they relied on the North Star to guide their navigation. The Greeks called that bright star, the last one in the handle of the Little Dipper, "Kynosoura," a term that comes from a phrase meaning "dog's tail" (apparently the Greeks saw more dog than dipper in that heavenly body). When they adopted a modified version of the star's name from Middle French, English speakers used it not only to name the star and its constellation, but also to identify a guide of any kind. By the early 1600s, "cynosure" was also being used figuratively for anything or anyone that, like the North Star, was the focus of attention or observation. *Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence. ---------------- Check Merriam-Webster for more information.