nutation

noun

nu·​ta·​tion nü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce nutation (audio)
nyü-
1
archaic : the act of nodding the head
2
: oscillatory movement of the axis of a rotating body (such as the earth) : wobble
3
: a spontaneous usually spiral movement of a growing plant part
nutational adjective

Word History

Etymology

Latin nutation-, nutatio, from nutare to nod, rock — more at numen

First Known Use

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nutation was in 1612

Dictionary Entries Near nutation

Cite this Entry

“Nutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nutation. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on nutation

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