binary system


: binary star
also : a similar system containing bodies (such as black holes) other than stars

Examples of binary system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1941, Konrad Zuse unveiled the world’s first programmable computer, the Z3 machine, which used a binary system. The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2024 The black hole is sitting calmly in a binary system, not doing anything in particular. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 16 Apr. 2024 The star is a binary system (Alpha Centauri A and B), and both stars are sunlike, neither one unusual. Ann Finkbeiner, Scientific American, 22 Dec. 2016 The dead star—which is currently not bright enough to appear in the sky—is one of a pair that orbit each other in a binary system called T Coronae Borealis, or T CrB. Known as a white dwarf, this leftover stellar core is snatching material from its neighboring red giant. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Apr. 2024 The team observed the supernova colliding with material cast off by one or both stars in the binary system before the white dwarf star exploded; a shock wave was then sent into the pre-existing gas. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024 Even before its 2002 discovery, it was thought that millisecond pulsars get their speed from being in binary systems. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 6 Oct. 2023 That would mean that supermassive black holes form binary systems quite frequently and evolve very efficiently. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 June 2023 To cast a wider net, the team expanded their search to include binary systems with greater separation between the stars. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'binary system.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1802, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of binary system was in 1802

Dictionary Entries Near binary system

Cite this Entry

“Binary system.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

binary system

: a system of two objects that revolve around each other
especially : binary star

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