Word of the Day : June 28, 2012

planet

play
noun PLAN-ut

Definition

1 : earth -usually used with the

2 : a celestial body held to influence the fate of human beings

3 : a person or thing of great importance : luminary

Did You Know?

"Planet" goes back to ancient Greek "planēt-" (literally, "wanderer"), which is derived from "planasthai," a Greek verb which means "to wander." The name "planet" was originally applied to any of seven visible celestial bodies which appeared to move independently of the fixed stars - the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In the 17th century, "planet" began to be used specifically of the rocky or gaseous bodies that orbit around the sun - a definition which excluded the moon and, obviously, the sun, but included the Earth and, as they were discovered, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union developed a narrower definition of "planet," effectively demoting Pluto to the status of a "dwarf planet," a celestial body that is spherical and orbits the sun but is not large enough to disturb other objects from its orbit.


Examples

He dreamed of being a major planet in the literary world, but his books sold poorly and are now out of print.

"Nevin wasn't a bad player. He just never did anything for the Astros, ranking just above every person on the planet who never played in the major leagues, with zero home runs and one RBI as an Astro." - From an article by Jerome Solomon in The Houston Chronicle, June 3, 2012



Word Family Quiz

Take a guess at the meaning of "planetesimal" (from "planet" + "-esimal" (as in"infinitesimal")? The answer is ...


Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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