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 Thanks to Earth's precession, or its cyclical 26,000-year wobble, that role is now played by Polaris. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Satellite Discovers 'Second Earth'," 8 Jan. 2020 Lescarbault’s sightings were never confirmed, and the perihelion precession of Mercury remained a puzzle for nearly six more decades. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 2018 Lescarbault’s sightings were never confirmed, and the perihelion precession of Mercury remained a puzzle for nearly six more decades. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 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. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 2018 Lescarbault’s sightings were never confirmed, and the perihelion precession of Mercury remained a puzzle for nearly six more decades. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 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. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 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. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 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. Quanta Magazine, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 30 Apr. 2018

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of precession was in 1879

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Statistics for precession

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Precession.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/precession. Accessed 27 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on precession

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precession

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about precession

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