com·​et | \ ˈkä-mət How to pronounce comet (audio) \

Definition of comet

: a celestial body that appears as a fuzzy head usually surrounding a bright nucleus, that has a usually highly eccentric orbit, that consists primarily of ice and dust, and that often develops one or more long tails when near the sun

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Other Words from comet

cometary \ ˈkä-​mə-​ˌter-​ē How to pronounce comet (audio) \ adjective
cometic \ kə-​ˈme-​tik How to pronounce comet (audio) , kä-​ \ adjective

Examples of comet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The presence of a special guest can be noticed on the right edge of the frame – the comet C/2020 X3 (SOHO), which had been discovered only the day before. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 After discovering a comet is heading straight towards Earth, a grad student and her professor try to warn everyone of the danger through a media tour. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 9 Sep. 2021 Don't Look Up tells the story of two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet earth. Carrie Wittme, Glamour, 8 Sep. 2021 Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio star as a team of low-level astronomers who are tasked with warning everyone that a comet is headed directly to Earth and will, in fact, destroy the planet as a tasty snack. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2021 Adam McKay’s latest film is about two low-level astronomers who discover that a comet is hurtling toward Earth. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 27 Aug. 2021 This would cause the asteroid to brighten, almost to the level of a comet, and also shed rocky debris. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 17 Aug. 2021 The Earth passes near the path of the comet every year and the debris left behind by Swift-Tuttle shows up as meteors in the sky. Leada Gore |, al, 11 Aug. 2021 The Perseids meteor shower happens around the same time each year as the Earth encounters the orbit of a comet known as 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comet.' 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 comet

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for comet

Middle English comete, from Old English cometa, from Latin, from Greek komētēs, literally, long-haired, from koman to wear long hair, from komē hair

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Time Traveler for comet

Time Traveler

The first known use of comet was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Comet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for comet



English Language Learners Definition of comet

: an object in outer space that develops a long, bright tail when it passes near the sun


com·​et | \ ˈkä-mət How to pronounce comet (audio) \

Kids Definition of comet

: a small bright heavenly body that develops a cloudy tail as it moves in an orbit around the sun

More from Merriam-Webster on comet

Nglish: Translation of comet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about comet


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