comet

noun
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 cometary (audio) \ adjective
cometic \ kə-​ˈme-​tik How to pronounce cometic (audio) , kä-​ \ adjective

Examples of comet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Space is a dusty place, rich with particles expelled by supernovas and shed from planets, asteroids and comets. Mindy Weisberger, Scientific American, "Space Dust from Ancient Supernova Found Hiding in Antarctica," 14 Aug. 2019 Space is a dusty place, rich with particles expelled by supernovas and shed from planets, asteroids and comets. Mindy Weisberger, NBC News, "Space dust from ancient supernova found hiding in Antarctica," 14 Aug. 2019 There were multiple phenomena occurring during the period after the asteroid or comet hit. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Annihilation Event That Killed The Dinosaurs Left This Diverse Graveyard Trapped in Time," 1 Apr. 2019 Matt Taylor, a British scientist working on the European Space Agency's Rosetta Project, managed to land a module on a comet 300million miles away. Jon Ronson, Town & Country, "Trial By Hashtag," 13 Feb. 2015 Astronomer Michelle Young works to save San Francisco after a rogue comet causes meteors to hit the city. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Until recently, scholars were open to the idea that these clouds were the remains of an asteroid or comet. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Colossal volcano behind 'mystery' global cooling finally found," 23 Aug. 2019 An asteroid or comet would have to venture very close to the Earth to be torn apart by tidal forces and form a ring around the Earth. Vahe Peroomian, The Conversation, "A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings," 14 Aug. 2019 By mass, the comet is around 80 percent dust and just 20 percent ice, notes McCaughrean. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Comet “Snowstorm” Swirling in This Stunning GIF Is a Tricky Illusion," 30 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for comet

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for comet

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

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More Definitions for comet

comet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of comet

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

comet

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on comet

Spanish Central: Translation of comet

Nglish: Translation of comet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about comet

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