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
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Recent Examples of gibbous from the Web
According to Olson’s astronomical model, the moon on August 20, 1817 would have been in what's known as the waxing gibbous phase—when more than half of the orb is light, but it is capped with a crescent of darkness.
After darkness falls, look southeast for the waxing gibbous moon pairing up with the ringed world Saturn.
On Saturday night, the bright planet Jupiter will be in a super tight hug just to the lower right of the waxing gibbous (football-shaped) moon.
This gigantic, gaseous planet gets a lunar date next weekend, when the gibbous moon approaches Jupiter.
After nightfall on Tuesday, January 19, look to the southeast for a close encounter between the the waxing gibbous moon and Aldebaran, the red giant that makes the eye of the constellation Taurus.
Get up close and personal with the gibbous moon in a search for the impact crater left behind by the biggest explosion from a meteorite impact seen on the lunar surface.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gibbous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
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