pro·​grade ˈprō-ˌgrād How to pronounce prograde (audio)
: having or being a direction of rotation or revolution that is counterclockwise as viewed from the north pole of the sky or a planet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The moons closer to Jupiter, including the four Galilean satellites, orbit Jupiter in the same direction as the planet’s rotation — astronomers call this a prograde orbit. Erika K Carlson, Discover Magazine, 17 July 2018 Asteroids with prograde rotations (spinning from west to east, like Earth does) drift away from the sun under this thrust. Dante S. Lauretta, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2016 Two of the three prograde moons fit within the Inuit group, which have angles of inclination of around 46 degrees. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 8 Oct. 2019 One of the prograde moons has an angle of 36 degrees, similar to the other prograde moons close to Saturn named for Gallic mythology. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 7 Oct. 2019 Sending a spacecraft to gently land upon or orbit the object would be extremely difficult, as such a probe would have to burn huge amounts of fuel to cancel out its prograde velocity. Lee Billings, Scientific American, 21 May 2018

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

Word History


Latin pro- forward + English -grade (as in retrograde)

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prograde was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near prograde

Cite this Entry

“Prograde.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

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