How many people know the definition of heliolatry?
The Sun Herald's Scenes From the Beach columnist George Thatcher certainly knows the meaning, and now, thanks to Merriam Webster online's "Word of the Day" feature on Monday, millions of the popular dictionary feature's subscribers do, too.
The example of the word's usage cited in Merriam Webster's Word of the Day email on Monday was from a 2013 "Scenes From the Beach" column.
Below is the entry:
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"Definition: sun worship
"Examples: Archeologists believe that the members of the ancient civilization practiced heliolatry because each temple faced east, toward the rising sun. 'An observer would assume that all of us -- humans and shorebirds alike -- are guilty of heliolatry . We had endured a series of dark, gloomy, winter days, during which the sun had been continually hidden behind dense, rain clouds. Now that the sun has emerged from its cloudy cave, the beach is bathed in brilliant sunshine.' -- George Thatcher, The Biloxi (Mississippi) Sun Herald, 22 Jan. 2013"