apogee

noun
apo·​gee | \ ˈa-pə-(ˌ)jē How to pronounce apogee (audio) \

Definition of apogee

1 : the point in the orbit of an object (such as a satellite) orbiting the earth that is at the greatest distance from the center of the earth also : the point farthest from a planet or a satellite (such as the moon) reached by an object orbiting it — compare perigee
2 : the farthest or highest point : culmination Aegean civilization reached its apogee in Crete.

Illustration of apogee

Illustration of apogee

apogee 1

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Other Words from apogee

apogean \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈjē-​ən How to pronounce apogean (audio) \ adjective

Of Apogees, Climaxes, and Culminations

Apogee is often used in its figurative sense, signifying the high point of a career, endeavor, or state (“she was at the apogee of her profession”). This meaning developed as a metaphorical extension of the word’s astronomical sense, denoting the farthest distance from earth of an object orbiting the planet.

A number of other English words that are synonymous with apogee have followed a similar path of figurative development from a technical meaning. Climax (“the most interesting and exciting part of something”) came into English as a term for a series of phrases arranged in ascending order of rhetorical forcefulness. And, very much like apogee, culmination (“the final result of something”) is also rooted in astronomy: it originally referred to the highest point a celestial body reaches in its daily revolution (for example, the sun’s height at noon).

Examples of apogee in a Sentence

shag carpeting reached the apogee of its popularity in the 1970s but is now considered outdated
Recent Examples on the Web That’s because the moon will be at apogee, or the farthest point in its roughly four-week orbit. Matthew Cappucci, Twin Cities, "Coming this Friday night: The first full moon on Friday the 13th in 13 years," 12 Sep. 2019 Many will argue that GT4 was the apogee of the series (and this fifth place here is too low down the list). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The ten best console racing games of all time," 22 Aug. 2019 At its apogee, the full moon will appear 14% smaller to people on Earth than when the moon is at its closest, making it a micromoon, HuffPost reported. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "A full harvest moon is coming Friday the 13th. But here's why it'll actually look small," 10 Sep. 2019 The event nearly coincides with apogee—that point in its orbit which places it at its greatest distance from the Earth: 252,100 miles away. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "A Rare Harvest Moon Is Happening on Friday the 13th, and We’re Spooked," 6 Sep. 2019 South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles launched from the North’s eastern coast flew about 143 miles on an apogee of 18 miles before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Kim Tong-hyung, BostonGlobe.com, "North Korea fires more projectiles, rules out talks with South Korea," 16 Aug. 2019 South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles launched from the North’s eastern coast flew about 230 kilometers (143 miles) on an apogee of 30 kilometers (18 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Washington Post, "N. Korea fires more projectiles, rules out talks with South," 16 Aug. 2019 South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles launched from the North's eastern coast flew about 230 kilometers (143 miles) on an apogee of 30 kilometers (18 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Kim Tong-hyung, Anchorage Daily News, "North Korea fires more projectiles as it rules out talks with South Korea," 16 Aug. 2019 The debate reached its apogee last week, when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office published a study taking into account most of the latest research and projecting the effects of the Raise the Wage Act. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "A $15 minimum wage started as a slogan. This week, it's set to pass the House," 15 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apogee.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apogee

1640, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for apogee

French apogée, from New Latin apogaeum, from Greek apogaion, from neuter of apogeios, apogaios far from the earth, from apo- + gē, gaia earth

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Statistics for apogee

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for apogee

The first known use of apogee was in 1640

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More Definitions for apogee

apogee

noun
How to pronounce apogee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of apogee

formal : the highest point of something
technical : the point in outer space where an object traveling around the Earth (such as a satellite or the moon) is farthest away from the Earth

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More from Merriam-Webster on apogee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apogee

Britannica English: Translation of apogee for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about apogee

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