nutation

noun
nu·​ta·​tion | \ nü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce nutation (audio) , nyü- \

Definition of nutation

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

Other Words from nutation

nutational \ nü-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce nutational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , nyü-​ \ adjective

First Known Use of nutation

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nutation

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

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The first known use of nutation was in 1612

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Cite this Entry

“Nutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nutation. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on nutation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nutation

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