elliptical galaxy


: a galaxy that has a generally elliptical shape and that has no apparent internal structure or spiral arms

called also elliptical

compare spiral galaxy

Examples of elliptical galaxy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And elliptical galaxies are thought to be the result of smaller galaxies having merged, which could influence the distribution of dark matter in subtle ways that are difficult to detect by tracing the distribution of normal matter. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 21 Apr. 2023 In 2017, the EHT turned its gaze to supermassive black holes at the centers of two galaxies: our own Milky Way and an elliptical galaxy about 50 million light-years away called M87. Erika K Carlson, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2019 Astronomers estimate that in 4 to 5 billion years, our own Milky Way Galaxy and Andromeda will collide and combine to form one giant elliptical galaxy. Michael D'estries, Treehugger, 31 Aug. 2023 The quasar is located in a giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Virgo and is one of the closest to Earth. Robert Lea, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2023 In crowded environments like galaxy clusters, these elliptical galaxies can collide and merge again to form an even larger elliptical galaxy. Erika K. Carlson, Discover Magazine, 5 Dec. 2019 Scientists have also theorized that some large irregular galaxies could represent an intermediate step between spiral and elliptical galaxies. Julia Musto, Fox News, 5 July 2023 That groundbreaking snapshot featured the supermassive black hole at the center of M87, a massive elliptical galaxy 55 million light-years from Earth. Alison Klesman, Discover Magazine, 7 Apr. 2020 This collision isn’t just triggering bouts of extreme star formation as part of an ongoing process that will see these two individual galaxies eventually form as one massive elliptical galaxy, however. Robert Lea, Popular Mechanics, 13 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of elliptical galaxy was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near elliptical galaxy

Cite this Entry

“Elliptical galaxy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elliptical%20galaxy. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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