Also found in: Wikipedia.


 (krĭth′nə, krĭn′yə)
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.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to legend, the Pictish realm - known as Pictavia - was split after the death of King Cruithne. Seven sub-kingdoms or provinces were then created, one of which became Fife.
The first was discovered in 1997 and is called Cruithne, but six more have been identified since and may one day settle down into a regular orbit.
Terry Brotherstone, Deborah Simonton, and Oonagh Walsh (Glasgow: Cruithne Press, 1999), 19-36, 20, 27.