1

orbit

noun or·bit \ ˈȯr-bət \

Definition of orbit

:the bony socket of the eye
  • The orbit encloses and protects the eye and its appendages.

orbital

play \ˈȯr-bə-tᵊl\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of orbit

Middle English orbite, orbita, borrowed from Medieval Latin orbita (probably as translation of Greek trochiá), going back to Latin, "track, rut, path of a heavenly body" — more at 2orbit


2

orbit

noun

Definition of orbit

1 a :a path described by one body in its revolution about another (as by the earth about the sun or by an electron about an atomic nucleus); also :one complete revolution of a body describing such a path
b :a circular path
2 :a range or sphere of activity or influence
  • within the president's orbit

orbital

adjective

Origin and Etymology of orbit

borrowed from Latin orbita "track, rut, path of a heavenly body," probably derivative of an adjective stem *orbi-t- "wheel-like," derivative of orbis "disk, circle, wheel" — more at 1orb

Synonym Discussion of orbit

range, gamut, compass, sweep, scope, orbit mean the extent that lies within the powers of something (as to cover or control). range is a general term indicating the extent of one's perception or the extent of powers, capacities, or possibilities.
    • the entire range of human experience
gamut suggests a graduated series running from one possible extreme to another.
    • a performance that ran the gamut of emotions
compass implies a sometimes limited extent of perception, knowledge, or activity.
    • your concerns lie beyond the narrow compass of this study
sweep suggests extent, often circular or arc-shaped, of motion or activity.
    • the book covers the entire sweep of criminal activity
scope is applicable to an area of activity, predetermined and limited, but somewhat flexible.
    • as time went on, the scope of the investigation widened
orbit suggests an often circumscribed range of activity or influence within which forces work toward accommodation.
    • within that restricted orbit they tried to effect social change

3

orbit

verb

Definition of orbit

transitive verb
1 :to revolve in an orbit around :circle
2 :to send up and make revolve in an orbit
  • orbit a satellite
intransitive verb
:to travel in circles

Examples of orbit in a Sentence

  1. The Moon orbits the Earth.

  2. The satellites orbit at different heights.

  3. The Moon orbits around the Earth.

Origin and Etymology of orbit

derivative of 2orbit


ORBIT Defined for English Language Learners

orbit

verb

Definition of orbit for English Language Learners

  • : to travel around (something, such as a planet or moon) in a curved path : to make an orbit around (something)


ORBIT Defined for Kids

1

orbit

noun or·bit \ ˈȯr-bət \

Definition of orbit for Students

:the path taken by one body circling around another body
  • The earth makes an orbit around the sun.

2

orbit

verb

Definition of orbit for Students

orbited; orbiting
1 :to move in an orbit around :circle
  • The moon orbits the earth.
2 :to send up so as to move in an orbit
  • The weather bureau will orbit a new satellite.

Medical Dictionary

orbit

noun or·bit \ ˈȯr-bət \

medical Definition of orbit

:the bony cavity perforated for the passage of nerves and blood vessels that occupies the lateral front of the skull immediately beneath the frontal bone on each side and encloses and protects the eye and its appendages called also eye socket, orbital cavity

orbital

play \-ᵊl\ adjective

Illustration of orbit



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up orbit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!