a book of maps a world atlas a road atlas of Europe See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere Word Origin late 16th cent. (originally denoting a person who supported a great burden): via Latin from Greek Atlas, the name of one of the Titans who was made to support the heavens as punishment for his part in the revolt against the god Zeus. His picture appeared at the front of early atlases.Extra examples We looked it up in the atlas. Do you have a road atlas of the UK? What examples of ribbon lakes can you find on an atlas of Scotland? You will need a good world atlas for the course.