peri·​gee ˈper-ə-(ˌ)jē How to pronounce perigee (audio)
: the point in the orbit of an object (such as a satellite) orbiting the earth that is nearest to the center of the earth
also : the point nearest a planet or a satellite (such as the moon) reached by an object orbiting it compare apogee
perigean adjective

Examples of perigee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In that position, known as perigee, the moon exerts its strongest gravitational pull, and the difference between high and low tides is the greatest. Paul Duginski, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Some astronomers say the phenomenon occurs when the moon is within 90% of perigee — its closest approach to Earth in orbit. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 The final burn of the upper stage raised the perigee, or low point, of the orbit, shortening the time needed for Jupiter 3 to use its own propulsion to maneuver into its final operational orbit. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 29 July 2023 But the military kept the exact orbit a secret, and amateur skywatchers will be closely watching for signs of the spaceplane passing overhead in hopes of estimating its apogee, perigee, and inclination. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 5 Jan. 2024 On November 1, Jupiter was at a very close distance to the Earth called perigee. Lisa Stardust,, 28 Dec. 2023 At around 125 miles in altitude, mission controllers would adjust the ISS’s trajectory, tweaking the rocket’s burn to reshape the station’s roughly circular orbit into an ellipse, with its closest earthward point, or perigee, perhaps 90 miles above the planet. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2023 August’s full moon is also the second of 2023’s four supermoons—a moniker for when a full moon reaches 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. Michael D'estries, Treehugger, 1 Aug. 2023 That represents the perigee—or low point—in the moon's elliptical orbit around our planet. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'perigee.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French, from New Latin perigeum, from Greek perigeion, from neuter of perigeios near the earth, from peri- + earth

First Known Use

1595, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of perigee was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near perigee

Cite this Entry

“Perigee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


peri·​gee ˈper-ə-jē How to pronounce perigee (audio)
: the point nearest a planet (as the earth) or other body (as a moon) reached by an object orbiting it compare apogee

More from Merriam-Webster on perigee

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