eclipse

noun
\ i-ˈklips How to pronounce eclipse (audio) \

Essential Meaning of eclipse

1 : an occasion when the sun looks like it is completely or partially covered with a dark circle because the moon is between the sun and the Earth a total/partial solar eclipse an eclipse of the sun
2 : an occasion when the moon looks like it is completely or partially covered with a dark circle because the Earth's shadow is on it a total/partial lunar eclipse
3 : a loss of power, success, popularity, etc. the civilization's sudden/eventual eclipse The popularity of television led to the eclipse of the radio drama. See More Examplesan author who has fallen/gone into eclipse [=who has become much less popular] an artist whose reputation/career has long been in eclipseHide

Full Definition of eclipse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another
b : the passing into the shadow of a celestial body — compare occultation, transit
2 : a falling into obscurity or decline also : the state of being eclipsed his reputation has fallen into eclipse
3 : the state of being in eclipse plumage

eclipse

verb
eclipsed; eclipsing

Definition of eclipse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause an eclipse of: such as
b : to reduce in importance or repute
c : surpass her score eclipsed the old record

Illustration of eclipse

Illustration of eclipse

Noun

eclipse 1a: E earth, M moon in solar eclipse, P penumbra, S sun, U umbra

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of eclipse in a Sentence

Noun an eclipse of the sun The popularity of television led to the eclipse of the radio drama. an artist whose reputation has long been in eclipse Verb The sun was partially eclipsed by the moon. Train travel was eclipsed by the growth of commercial airlines.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The career of Garrison Keillor, the folksy host who revived the American tradition of gathering every week in front of the radio, appears to be in something of an eclipse. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2021 It will be followed on the next New Moon—December 4, 2021—with that most dramatic kind of eclipse of all, a total lunar eclipse. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 11 June 2021 Coming up in the Cleveland area is a partial eclipse in October 2023, and a total eclipse in April 2024. David Petkiewicz, cleveland, 10 June 2021 Chicagoans witnessed a partial eclipse of the sun on Thursday morning, opportunely timed with the announcement of Adler Planetarium’s partial reopening. Maggie Prosser, chicagotribune.com, 10 June 2021 The eclipse will be visible from sunrise about 5:50 a.m. until 9:11 a.m. on June 10. Kyle Davidson, Detroit Free Press, 8 June 2021 For those living in places where the eclipse wasn't visible, there were livestreams available. Nick Perry, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 For those living in places where the eclipse wasn’t visible, there were livestreams available. Nick Perry, Anchorage Daily News, 26 May 2021 People will need a clear view of the horizon and appropriate eye protection to see either eclipse. Vanessa Arredondo, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Stocks are solidly higher on Wall Street in afternoon trading Monday, placing the S&P 500 on pace to recoup its losses from last week and eclipse its all-time high. Alex Veiga, ajc, 23 Aug. 2021 United collected 21 points in the standings during the 23-match, pandemic shortened season, and they're already set to match or eclipse that sum with their next result. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 27 July 2021 The winner-take-all economy has created modern fortunes that by some measures eclipse those of John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, 29 May 2021 Senior Mykaila Pickard displayed lethal shooting from behind the arc at Palmer High School, draining six 3-pointers to not only help her team cruise to its third blowout of the tournament but to reach and eclipse an impressive career milestone. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Mar. 2021 The city did not eclipse 100 homicides until October last year. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, 22 Aug. 2021 That would eclipse the record of 70 homicides set in 1987. oregonlive, 25 July 2021 If the numbers continue at this pace, the number of homicides this year could eclipse that of 2017. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, 15 July 2021 This year's number would eclipse last year's as the highest debt level since the end of World War II. Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of eclipse

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eclipse

Noun

borrowed from Middle English eclipse, clips, borrowed from Anglo-French eclyps, eclypse, borrowed from Latin eclīpsis, borrowed from Greek ékleipsis "abandonment, failure, cessation, obscuring of a celestial body by another," from ekleípein "to leave out, abandon, cease, die, be obscured (of a celestial body)" (from ek- ec- + leípein "to leave, quit, be missing") + -sis -sis — more at delinquent entry 2

Verb

Middle English eclypsen, clypsen, derivative of eclipse eclipse entry 1, probably after Medieval Latin eclīpsāre or Middle French esclipser

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About eclipse

Time Traveler for eclipse

Time Traveler

The first known use of eclipse was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near eclipse

eclegma

eclipse

eclipse plumage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for eclipse

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eclipse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eclipse. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for eclipse

eclipse

noun
\ i-ˈklips How to pronounce eclipse (audio) \

Kids Definition of eclipse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a complete or partial hiding of the sun caused by the moon's passing between the sun and the earth
2 : a darkening of the moon caused by its entering the shadow of the earth
3 : the hiding of any heavenly body by another

eclipse

verb
eclipsed; eclipsing

Kids Definition of eclipse (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause an eclipse of The sun was eclipsed by the moon.
2 : to be or do much better than : outshine The racer's time eclipsed the old record.

More from Merriam-Webster on eclipse

Nglish: Translation of eclipse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eclipse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about eclipse

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
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!