orrery

noun
or·​rery | \ ˈȯr-ər-ē How to pronounce orrery (audio) , ˈär- \
plural orreries

Definition of orrery

: an apparatus showing the relative positions and motions of bodies in the solar system by balls moved by a clockwork

Illustration of orrery

Illustration of orrery

Examples of orrery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This could just be a sweet little nod to Martin’s flowery writing, but given that the gyroscope/orrery from the show’s opening credits hangs above the Citadel library, we might be headed for a meta reference to end all meta references. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Game of Thrones: 8 Easter Eggs, References, and Callbacks You Might Have Missed in “Stormborn”," 25 July 2017 This could just be a sweet little nod to Martin’s flowery writing, but given that the gyroscope/orrery from the show’s opening credits hangs above the Citadel library, we might be headed for a meta reference to end all meta references. Joanna Robinson, vanityfair.com, "Game of Thrones: 8 Easter Eggs, References, and Callbacks You Might Have Missed in “Stormborn”," 25 July 2017 In this context, a top that spins in the hand is like a pocket orrery—a mechanical model of the heavens. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "The Fidget Spinner Explains the World," 12 May 2017 Moon Phases is inspired by an orrery, a mechanical model that shows the relative position of planets in the solar system. Elizabeth Stinson, Wired News, "A Gizmo That Shows You What the Moon Will Look Like in 3015," 8 Apr. 2015 Rose then oversaw the building of other prototype components, such as the mechanical computer that sequences the clock’s chimes, the orrery and the solar synchronizer, which are on display in the Long Now Foundation’s San Francisco office. Dylan Tweney, WIRED, "How to Make a Clock Run for 10,000 Years," 23 June 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orrery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of orrery

1713, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orrery

Charles Boyle †1731 4th Earl of Orrery

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Time Traveler for orrery

Time Traveler

The first known use of orrery was in 1713

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Cite this Entry

“Orrery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orrery. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on orrery

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orrery

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