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

Other Words from apogee

apogean \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈjē-​ən How to pronounce apogee (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shag carpeting reached the apogee of its popularity in the 1970s but is now considered outdated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 And his signature style — analog, unhurried, profoundly human — found its apogee in Boyhood, the 2014 coming-of-age masterstroke that took him 12 years to make. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 20 Mar. 2022 The postwar period marked the apogee of the A.M.A.’s political power. Clifford Marks, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2022 Much of his energy is directed towards rulings from the Warren Court in the 1950s and 1960s, the apogee of the court’s liberal era. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 17 Feb. 2022 Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons, which were likely short-range, were launched five minutes apart from the eastern coastal town of Hamhung and flew 190 kilometers (118 miles) on an apogee of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) before landing at sea. NBC News, 27 Jan. 2022 Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons, which were likely short-range, were launched five minutes apart from the eastern coastal town of Hamhung and flew 190 kilometers (118 miles) on an apogee of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) before landing at sea. Kim Tong-hyung, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2022 Lithium-ion batteries have reached their apogee of market dominance—with too many fires, too high a cost and too many problems with materials extraction. WSJ, 30 Dec. 2021 And the trend seems to have hit apogee, as total volumes of traffic were up 64% across the 100,000 sites stats in March 2021 before dropping back down to a still staggering 56% increase (from the pre-pandemic baseline). Eric Quanstrom, Forbes, 2 June 2021 The reason, FOX Weather said earlier this week, is that the moon will be almost at the farthest point from the Earth – or apogee – when the maximum point of the eclipse begins. Julia Musto, Fox News, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near apogee

apogamy

apogee

apogenous

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Apogee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apogee. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on apogee

Britannica English: Translation of apogee for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about apogee

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