noun \ˈpla-nət\

: a large, round object in space (such as the Earth) that travels around a star (such as the sun)

the planet : the planet Earth

—used in informal phrases to say that someone is not aware of what is really happening or has ideas that are not realistic or practical

Full Definition of PLANET

a :  any of the seven celestial bodies sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn that in ancient belief have motions of their own among the fixed stars
b (1) :  any of the large bodies that revolve around the sun in the solar system
(2) :  a similar body associated with another star
c :  earth —usually used with the
:  a celestial body held to influence the fate of human beings
:  a person or thing of great importance :  luminary
planet table

Examples of PLANET

  1. <our collective responsibility to conserve the planet and its natural resources for future generations>

Origin of PLANET

Middle English planete, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin planeta, modification of Greek planēt-, planēs, literally, wanderer, from planasthai to wander — more at floor
First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with PLANET


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any large natural body that orbits the Sun or another star (see planets of other stars) and that is not radiating energy from internal nuclear fusion; dwarf planets, comets, asteroids, meteoroids (see meteor), and natural satellites are excluded. The word planet comes from the Greek for “wanderer,” because the planets' positions change relative to those of the stars. The eight (formerly nine) recognized planets that orbit the Sun are, in order of increasing distance, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The first four are called terrestrial planets and the next four giant, or Jovian, planets. The terrestrial planets (of which Earth is the largest) are rocky with comparatively thin or negligible atmospheres. The Sun's heat is thought to have prevented the abundant volatile substances in the solar nebula from condensing in them as they formed. The giant planets formed farther out, where the gases were cool enough to condense, so the planets grew very massive and accumulated huge atmospheres of light gases, mainly hydrogen and helium. None of the giant planets has an accessible surface; their gaseous atmospheres gradually merge with their liquid interiors. Pluto, although it was recognized as a planet for decades, is distinct from either group, being much smaller than any of the eight planets and resembling a giant comet nucleus. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the category of dwarf planet, which reflected astronomers' conclusion that it is a very large member of the Kuiper belt. Additional bodies rivaling or exceeding Pluto in size (e.g., Eris) exist in the outer region of the solar system. The term minor planet is sometimes used to refer to any of the asteroids that lie mostly between the terrestrial and the giant planets. In astrology great importance is placed on the planets' positions in the 12 constellations of the zodiac. See also planetesimal; solar system.


Next Word in the Dictionary: plane table
Previous Word in the Dictionary: plane symmetry
All Words Near: planet

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up planet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).