peri·​gee | \ ˈper-ə-(ˌ)jē How to pronounce perigee (audio) \

Definition of perigee

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from perigee

perigean \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈjē-​ən How to pronounce perigean (audio) \ adjective

Examples of perigee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Full moons on March 9 and April 7 will occur during the moon's perigee. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wolf moon on Friday night is first of 13 full moons this year which include two supermoons and a rare Halloween blue moon," 9 Jan. 2020 In contrast, a Supermoon occurs when the moon is closest to Earth, a phenomenon known as perigee. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "On Friday the 13th, See a Full 'Micromoon' Tonight," 13 Sep. 2019 Remember last February, when the full Moon coincided with perigee, its closest point to Earth? Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Freakish fun for Friday the 13th: A full moon 13 years in the making," 12 Sep. 2019 When a full moon coincides with an especially close approach, or perigee, the lunar orb is slightly bigger and brighter than average, delivering what's come to be known as a supermoon. National Geographic, "Learn about the lunar cycle, as well as the origins of the many names given to each month's full moon.," 15 June 2019 And because the size of the moon's orbit varies slightly with each lunar cycle, perigee is not always the same distance from month to month. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "See the first supermoon on the spring equinox in 19 years," 19 Mar. 2019 The closest point in its orbit is called the perigee. Shannon Schmoll, Washington Post, "Something amazing will happen with the moon on Jan. 31," 28 Jan. 2018 Interestingly, the moon will also be very close to Earth during these celestial events; lunar perigee occurs just over 5 hours after new moon. Joe Rao,, "Friday the 13th Eclipse Visible to Lucky Few," 11 July 2018 The spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK, will conduct thruster burns at apogee (farthest point from Earth) and perigee (closest point to Earth) for 4 or 5 orbits. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Launch of NASA's TESS Space Telescope Scrubbed Until Wednesday (Updated)," 16 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of perigee

1595, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perigee

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about perigee

Time Traveler for perigee

Time Traveler

The first known use of perigee was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Statistics for perigee

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perigee.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for perigee


How to pronounce perigee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perigee

technical : the point in outer space where an object traveling around the Earth (such as a satellite or the moon) is closest to the Earth

More from Merriam-Webster on perigee Encyclopedia article about perigee

Comments on perigee

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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