atlas: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (at'lus), [key]
— pl. at•las•es at•lan•tes
  1. a bound collection of maps.
  2. a bound volume of charts, plates, or tables illustrating any subject.
  3. the first cervical vertebra, which supports the head.
  4. a size of drawing or writing paper, 26 × 34 or 33 inches.
  5. Also calleda sculptural figure of a man used as a column. Cf. caryatid.


Pronunciation: (at'lus), [key]
— pl. At•las•es
  1. a Titan, son of Iapetus and brother of Prometheus and Epimetheus, condemned to support the sky on his shoulders: identified by the ancients with the Atlas Mountains.
  2. a person who supports a heavy burden; a mainstay.
  3. (Angelo Siciliano), 1894–1972, U.S. body-building advocate, born in Italy.
  4. a liquid-propellant booster rocket, originally developed as the first U.S. ICBM, used with Agena or Centaur upper stages to launch satellites into orbit around the earth and send probes to the moon and planets; also used to launch the Mercury spacecraft into orbit around the earth.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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