ecliptic

adjective
eclip·​tic | \ i-ˈklip-tik How to pronounce ecliptic (audio) \

Definition of ecliptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the ecliptic or an eclipse

ecliptic

noun

Definition of ecliptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: the great circle of the celestial sphere that is the apparent path of the sun among the stars or of the earth as seen from the sun : the plane of the earth's orbit extended to meet the celestial sphere

Examples of ecliptic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Earth is at the center of the coin; the nodes are the two points on the coin's rim that are on the same ecliptic plane as Earth. Joe Rao, Space.com, "Friday the 13th Eclipse Visible to Lucky Few," 11 July 2018 The observing swathes will overlap at the south and north ecliptic poles, which are points perpendicular to the plane of Earth’s orbit. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, "NASA’s Next Exoplanet Hunter Will Seek Worlds Close to Home," 6 Apr. 2018 Proximity to ecliptic path is a crucial factor in decisions. Eric Adler, Mark Davis And Diane Stafford, kansascity, "‘Call it a snow day’: Schools, businesses shut for Royals parade, why not for eclipse?," 13 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The moon would have formed in the plane of Earth’s equator, with its orbit also tilted far from the ecliptic. Simon J. Lock, Scientific American, "When Earth and the Moon Were One," 2 July 2019 In this case, Pluto is passing from above the ecliptic to below it, which makes this specific point Pluto’s descending node. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Pluto Aligns with the Rest of the Solar System for the First Time in Nearly a Century," 13 July 2018 The moments when Pluto transitions across the ecliptic are called nodes. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Pluto Aligns with the Rest of the Solar System for the First Time in Nearly a Century," 13 July 2018 The spacecraft carries four telescopes that together will survey a strip of sky extending from the solar system's pole to its equator, known as the ecliptic. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Updated: NASA’s new satellite brings the search for Earthlike exoplanets closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018 The spacecraft carries four telescopes that together will survey a strip of sky extending from the solar system's pole to its equator, known as the ecliptic. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Updated: NASA’s new satellite brings the search for Earthlike exoplanets closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018 The spacecraft carries four telescopes that together will survey a strip of sky extending from the solar system's pole to its equator, known as the ecliptic. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Updated: NASA’s new satellite brings the search for Earthlike exoplanets closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018 The spacecraft carries four telescopes that together will survey a strip of sky extending from the solar system's pole to its equator, known as the ecliptic. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Updated: NASA’s new satellite brings the search for Earthlike exoplanets closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018 The spacecraft carries four telescopes that together will survey a strip of sky extending from the solar system's pole to its equator, known as the ecliptic. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Updated: NASA’s new satellite brings the search for Earthlike exoplanets closer to home," 19 Apr. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ecliptic

Adjective

Middle English ekliptik, borrowed from Latin eclīpticus, borrowed from Greek ekleiptikós, from ekleípein "to be obscured (of a celestial body)" + -t-, verbal adjective ending + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at eclipse entry 1

Noun

Middle English ekliptik, borrowed from Medieval Latin eclīptica (short for eclīptica līnea "ecliptic line"), from feminine of Latin eclīpticus ecliptic entry 1; so called because eclipses occur on or near the ecliptic

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Time Traveler for ecliptic

The first known use of ecliptic was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on ecliptic

Britannica English: Translation of ecliptic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ecliptic

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