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

Other Words from precession

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

Examples of precession in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Phase precession could play a role in that disparity. Quanta Magazine, 7 July 2021 Another theory is that phase precession might be essential to learning. Grace Huckins, Wired, 11 June 2021 Now the evidence of phase precession jumped out at him. Grace Huckins, Wired, 11 June 2021 Similarly, gravitational time dilation, the bending of light by large masses, and the precession of everything from planetary orbits to rotating spheres sent up to space has demonstrated spectacular agreement with Einstein’s predictions. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Interactions with these temporary particles affect the g-factor, causing muons' precession to gain or lose speed slightly. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 7 Apr. 2021 Our planet’s precession causes the pole stars to change. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 The occurrence of a precession provides clues to how the black holes formed. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 24 Mar. 2016 The Toronto team used this precession to act as the hands of a clock, called a Larmor clock. Quanta Magazine, 20 Oct. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About precession

Time Traveler for precession

Time Traveler

The first known use of precession was in 1879

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near precession

precess

precession

precession of the equinoxes

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for precession

Cite this Entry

“Precession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/precession. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on precession

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about precession

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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