eclipse

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another
b
: the passing into the shadow of a celestial body compare occultation, transit
2
: a falling into obscurity or decline
also : the state of being eclipsed
his reputation has fallen into eclipse
3
: the state of being in eclipse plumage

Illustration of eclipse

Illustration of eclipse
  • E earth
  • M moon in solar eclipse
  • P penumbra
  • S sun
  • U umbra

eclipse

2 of 2

verb

eclipsed; eclipsing

transitive verb

: to cause an eclipse of: such as
b
: to reduce in importance or repute
c
: surpass
her score eclipsed the old record

Examples of eclipse in a Sentence

Noun an eclipse of the sun The popularity of television led to the eclipse of the radio drama. an artist whose reputation has long been in eclipse Verb The sun was partially eclipsed by the moon. Train travel was eclipsed by the growth of commercial airlines.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Previous eclipses unveiled helium in the sun’s atmosphere in 1868 and helped to demonstrate the gravitational bending of light predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity in the early 20th century. Aaron Shattuck, Scientific American, 25 June 2024 The city will experience the eclipse's peak coverage at 2:08:10 p.m. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 6 June 2024
Verb
The World Meteorological Organization says there is an 86% chance that one of the next five years will eclipse 2023 to become the warmest on record. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 21 June 2024 Soto, 25, has eclipsed 100 walks in every season that he’s played in at least 150 games. Gary Phillips, New York Daily News, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for eclipse 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

borrowed from Middle English eclipse, clips, borrowed from Anglo-French eclyps, eclypse, borrowed from Latin eclīpsis, borrowed from Greek ékleipsis "abandonment, failure, cessation, obscuring of a celestial body by another," from ekleípein "to leave out, abandon, cease, die, be obscured (of a celestial body)" (from ek- ec- + leípein "to leave, quit, be missing") + -sis -sis — more at delinquent entry 2

Verb

Middle English eclypsen, clypsen, derivative of eclipse eclipse entry 1, probably after Medieval Latin eclīpsāre or Middle French esclipser

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eclipse was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near eclipse

Cite this Entry

“Eclipse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclipse. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

eclipse

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: the total or partial hiding of a planet, star, or moon by another
b
: the passing into the shadow of a planet, star, or moon
2
: a falling into disgrace or out of use or public favor

eclipse

2 of 2 verb
eclipsed; eclipsing
1
: to cause an eclipse of
2
a
: to reduce in importance
b
: to do or be much better than : outshine

More from Merriam-Webster on eclipse

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