precession

noun
pre·​ces·​sion | \ prē-ˈse-shən How to pronounce precession (audio) \

Definition of precession

: a comparatively slow gyration of the rotation axis of a spinning body about another line intersecting it so as to describe a cone

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Other Words from precession

precessional \ prē-​ˈsesh-​nəl How to pronounce precessional (audio) , -​ˈse-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of precession in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

However, the Earth has moved on its axis since then, a process known as precession, so now the dates that are used to mark the signs don’t really correspond to the background constellations that give them their signs names. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Where Do Zodiac Signs Come From? Here's the True History Behind Your Horoscope," 21 June 2018 Lescarbault’s sightings were never confirmed, and the perihelion precession of Mercury remained a puzzle for nearly six more decades. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 6 May 2018 All other planets orbit the sun in perfect accord with Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, but Mercury appeared to advance a tiny amount with each orbit, a phenomenon known as perihelion precession. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 6 May 2018 Several years later, a radiophysicist named Paris Herouni performed a series of amateur studies branching off from Parsamian’s, using telescopic methods and the precession laws of Earth. Karine Vann, Smithsonian, "Unraveling the Mystery of the “Armenian Stonehenge”," 27 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'precession.' 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 precession

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for precession

New Latin praecession-, praecessio, from Medieval Latin, act of preceding, from Latin praecedere to precede

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Time Traveler for precession

The first known use of precession was in 1879

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More from Merriam-Webster on precession

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precession

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about precession

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