Definition of deasil
: clockwise or in the direction of the sun’s course
Origin and Etymology of deasil
1771, from Gaelic deiseil, deiseal (adjective and adverb) “toward the south,” taken in sense of “toward the right,” from deas “right, right-hand; south,” cognate with Irish deas, Old Irish dess, des, Welsh dehau, and ultimately with Latin dexter (see dexterity). The second element of the Gaelic word is not explained (one old guess, in the Century Dictionary (1902), is a proposed *iul “direction, guidance”).
First Known Use: 1771
Did You Know?
According to an old custom, you can bring someone good fortune by walking around the person clockwise three times while carrying a torch or candle. In Scottish Gaelic, the word deiseil is used for the direction one walks in such a luck-bringing ritual. English speakers modified the spelling to deasil, and have used the word to describe clockwise motion in a variety of rituals.