noun \ˈe-pə-ˌsī-kəl\

Definition of EPICYCLE

in Ptolemaic astronomy :  a circle in which a planet moves and which has a center that is itself carried around at the same time on the circumference of a larger circle
:  a process going on within a larger one
epi·cy·clic \ˌe-pə-ˈsī-klik, -ˈsi-klik\ adjective

Origin of EPICYCLE

Middle English epicicle, from Late Latin epicyclus, from Greek epikyklos, from epi- + kyklos circle — more at wheel
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith


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