dwarf planet


Definition of dwarf planet 

: a celestial body that orbits the sun and has a spherical shape but is not large enough to disturb other objects from its orbit

Examples of dwarf planet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Previously, scientists thought protoplanets did not get much larger than dwarf planet Ceres, or about a sixth the diameter of Mercury. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Diamond-Encrusted Meteorite Could Be From a Lost Planet," 17 Apr. 2018 Still, finding dunes on Pluto was unexpected, given the dwarf planet’s very thin air, experts said. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "Pluto Has Dunes, But They’re Not Made of Sand," 1 June 2018 Charon, meanwhile, shows some signs of water ices, which confirms some suspicions long held about what is either a moon or a binary dwarf planet. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "What New Horizons Has Already Told Us About Pluto," 13 July 2015 But with the realization that Pluto was a Kuiper belt dwarf planet, researchers began speculating about the origins of the icy world. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Is Pluto Actually a Mash-up of a Billion Comets?," 30 May 2018 The dwarf planet’s orbit is even flatter than Mars’s orbit, causing the sunlight to vary by as much as 64 percent. Shannon Hall, New York Times, "Never Mind the Summer Heat: Earth Is at Its Greatest Distance From the Sun," 5 July 2018 Dawn began orbiting Ceres in March 2015, spiraling closer and closer toward the dwarf planet over time. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "NASA's Dawn Probe Sends Photos of Dwarf Planet Ceres to Earth," 2 July 2018 During this last phase of the mission, the spacecraft will, at times, come within 21.7 miles (35 kilometers) of the dwarf planet. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s Dawn probe is about to get into its closest orbit yet around the dwarf planet Ceres," 1 June 2018 One of its main objectives was to better understand global geology and morphology of the dwarf planet and its tiny moon Charon. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Science Fiction's Biggest Names Will Live Forever on Pluto's Moon," 13 Apr. 2018

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

1993, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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The first known use of dwarf planet was in 1993

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dwarf planet


Kids Definition of dwarf planet

: a heavenly body similar to a planet but too small to clear other objects from its orbit

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