- One who sustains a great burden.
- [Anat] The first vertebra of the neck, articulating immediately with the skull, thus sustaining the globe of the head, whence the name.
- A collection of maps in a volume
- A volume of plates illustrating any subject.
- A work in which subjects are exhibited in a tabular from or arrangement; as, an historical atlas .
- A large, square folio, resembling a volume of maps; -- called also atlas folio.
- A drawing paper of large size. See under Paper (n.)
Note: supposed to be so called from a picture of Atlas supporting the world, prefixed to some collections. This name is said to have been first used by Mercator, the celebrated geographer, in the 16th century.
Etymology: L. Atlas, -antis, Gr. �, �, one of the older family of gods, who bears up the pillars of heaven; also Mt. Atlas, in W. Africa, regarded as the pillar of heaven. It is from the root of tlh^nai to bear. See Tolerate