Definition of gibbous
1a : marked by convexity or swellingb of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated
2 : having a hump : humpbacked
gibbous was our Word of the Day on 08/11/2012. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
The adjective "gibbous" has its origins in the Latin noun gibbus, meaning "hump," and in the Late Latin adjective gibbosus, meaning "humpbacked," which Middle English adopted in the 14th century as "gibbous." "Gibbous" has been used to describe the rounded body parts of humans and animals (such as the back of a hunchback or camel) or to describe the shape of certain flowers (such as snapdragons). The term is most often identified, however, with the study of astronomy. In fact, if you run across the word gibbous, chances are you'll find the word moon somewhere nearby. A gibbous moon is one that is more than a half-moon but less than full.
Origin and Etymology of gibbous
Middle English, from Late Latin gibbosus humpbacked, from Latin gibbus hump
First Known Use: 14th century
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up gibbous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).