from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A luminous, white, halolike area occasionally seen in the sky opposite the sun on the parhelic circle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A faint, white halo rarely seen in the sky opposite the sun on the parhelic circle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A halo opposite the sun, consisting of a colored ring or rings around the shadow of the spectator's own head, as projected on a cloud or on an opposite fog bank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A solar phenomenon consisting of one or more faint luminous rings around the shadow of the head of an observer when projected at no great distance by the sun when it is near the horizon on a cloud, fog-bank, grass covered with dew, or other moist surface. It is sometimes observed in alpine and polar regions, and is due to diffraction of light.


Greek anthēlion, from neuter of anthēlios, opposite the sun : anti-, anti- + hēlios, sun; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)


  • Glory: Also known as an anthelion (opposite the sun), A glory is produced by light backscattered (a combination of diffraction, reflection and refraction) towards its source by a cloud of uniformly-sized water droplets.

    Celestial Phenomena

  • What of the silhouette or the anthelion of the Scandinavian Alps, and the aerial cities so often seen by explorers and travelers?

    What's in a Dream: A Scientific and Practical Interpretation of Dreams

  • The Transfiguration on Mount Tabor when the disciples suddenly beheld the image of the Master accompanied by the images of Moses and Elias, did not cause a more profound astonishment to those who witnessed it than did the sight of the anthelion, of which the explanation is known to all meteorologists, to the innocent Norwegian maiden.

    Part II, Chapter II of "Uranie"

  • He, however, not having observed the anthelion at the moment when her image appeared in it, had not been especially surprised by a phenomenon which he had already seen several times and observed under better conditions from the parachute of a balloon, and having taken no particular notice of it, had nothing to say about it.

    Part II, Chapter II of "Uranie"

  • The anthelion remained upon the clouds sufficiently distinct, and for

    Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky


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