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1. An asteroid that orbits the sun in just over 365 days in a highly eccentric and inclined elliptical orbit that periodically brings it close to Earth. Earth has a strong gravitational influence on Cruithne, but the inclined orbit of the asteroid precludes a collision between the two bodies and also the possibility of Cruithne ever orbiting Earth as a second moon.
2. (used with a pl. verb) The Picts.
[Old Irish Cruithne, the Picts (the asteroid being named by Duncan Waldron, the Scottish amateur astronomer who discovered it in 1986), from Cruithen, a Pict; see kwer- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.