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VENUS

A look at the origins, meaning and usage of the place name "VENUS". For word definitions see WordChecker below

Background

Venus is one of the eight planets of our solar system. It is the second planet from the Sun, at a distance of 108 million kilometres. With a diameter of 12,104 km it is only slightly smaller than the planet Earth. Covered by thick layers of highly reflective yellowish-white clouds, Venus is the brightest planet and the second brightest natural object in the night sky (after the Moon). It can easily be seen from Earth with the naked eye.

Pronunciation: /ˈviː.nəs/

Origins, meaning and usage of the name

Because it is so bright, and sometimes clearly visible even in the twilight sky, Venus has always been an object of inspiration for writers and poets, who have given it names like “morning star” and “evening star”. The Romans too were inspired and named it after their most beautiful deity, Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. It is the only planet named after a female and is sometimes referred to as she rather than it.

The adjective from Venus is Venusian (capitalized as derived from a proper noun), for example: We cannot see the Venusian surface since it is shrouded by impenetrable cloud. Fictional inhabitants of Venus are called Venusians or sometimes Venerians. Examples of Venus in poetry and fiction include Hymn to Venus (Homer), Venus and Adonis (Shakespeare), To the Evening Star, (William Blake), Voyage to Venus (Achille Eyraud), Seas of Venus (David Drake), and Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (Isaac Asimov).

Venus in the night sky

Above: In this spectacular photo of Venus outshining all the stars and other planets in the night sky, we may understand why the Romans chose to name her after their own goddess of love and beauty. (Photo: John Lemieux)

Example sentences:

  • People sometimes call Venus "Earth’s twin" because she shares some of Earth's characteristics.
  • He observed the transit of Venus in 2012.

Above: “Venus, The Bringer of Peace” (above) is the second movement of The Planets, written by the English composer Gustav Holst between 1914 and 1916. Its calm, languid tones and beautiful melodies recall the graceful Roman goddess of love and beauty who lent her name to the planet Venus.

solar system (noun): our sun and the eight planets (and other bodies) that go around it
naked eye (noun): unassisted vision; the eye without help from a telescope
twilight (noun): the period in the evening when the sun has just dropped below the horizon; the period between daylight and darkness
the Romans (noun): people of the ancient civilization that was based on Rome, Italy some 2000 years ago
deity (noun): a god or goddess, for example in Roman mythology