noun \i-ˈlips, e-\

: a shape that resembles a flattened circle

Full Definition of ELLIPSE

a :  oval
b :  a closed plane curve generated by a point moving in such a way that the sums of its distances from two fixed points is a constant :  a plane section of a right circular cone that is a closed curve
:  ellipsis

Illustration of ELLIPSE

Origin of ELLIPSE

Greek elleipsis
First Known Use: circa 1753

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms

abscissa, denominator, divisor, equilateral, exponent, hypotenuse, logarithm, oblique, radii, rhomb

Rhymes with ELLIPSE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Closed curve, one of the conic sections of analytic geometry, consisting of all points whose distances from each of two fixed points (foci) add up to the same value. The midpoint between the foci is the center. One property of an ellipse is that the reflection off its boundary of a line from one focus will pass through the other. In an elliptical room, a person whispering at one focus is easily heard by someone at the other. An oval may or may not fit the definition of an ellipse.


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