Aten

noun
\ˈä-tᵊn \
plural Atens

Definition of Aten 

astronomy

: any of a class of asteroids having orbits that are mainly within the Earth's orbit but that may extend beyond it at their outermost point : an asteroid having an orbit with a semimajor axis of less than one astronomical unit There are two families of asteroids with orbits that cross Earth's. Members of the Aten family spend most of their time inside our orbit, while Apollo objects are mostly beyond Earth, with only the innermost point of their orbit inside ours.— Jeff Hecht and David L. Chandler, New Scientist, 22 Feb. 2003 — compare amor sense 2, apollo

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Aten

1982, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Aten

after 2062 Aten, the first such asteroid to observed (1976), from Aten, disk of the sun in ancient Egypt (vocalization of Egyptian ỉtn)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Aten

Statistics for Aten

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Aten

The first known use of Aten was in 1982

See more words from the same year

Comments on Aten

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!