Definition of apogee
- Aegean civilization reached its apogee in Crete.
shag carpeting reached the apogee of its popularity in the 1970s but is now considered outdated
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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).
First Known Use: 1640See Words from the same year
: the highest point of something
: 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
What made you want to look up apogee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous
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