- 1The regularly repeated elliptical course of a celestial object or spacecraft about a star or planet: the Earth’s orbit around the sunMore example sentences
- He therefore accepted Kepler's theory of elliptical orbits for the planets and tested Kepler's laws by direct observation.
- Similarly, Kepler's discovery of the elliptical orbit of the planets did not sit well with the religious establishment.
- Most planets still had regular orbits, and cycles of days, months, and years.
- 1.1One complete circuit round an orbited body: the satellite will complete one orbit every 12 hoursMore example sentences
- At these higher orbits it can take many hours to complete a single orbit.
- The craft itself remained in orbit for nearly six months, and completed 1400 orbits of the Earth.
- This means that after eight of our orbits Venus has circuited the Sun 13 times, and returns to more or less the same position relative to us.
- 1.2 [mass noun] The state of moving in an orbit: the earth is in orbit around the sunMore example sentences
- However, a propellant-free way of moving objects around in orbit very slowly is under development.
- Galileo has operated in orbit more than three times longer than its originally planned mission.
- During its final years in orbit, the Russian space station Mir suffered a number of mishaps.
- 1.3The path of an electron round an atomic nucleus.More example sentences
- Quarks are bound together by the strong nuclear force to form protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei, while the electromagnetic force holds electrons in orbits around the nucleus.
- Rydberg atoms do not move or collide because they are laser cooled, but the electron orbits of adjacent atoms can overlap.
- For many atoms, the combinations of electrons in their orbits cancel each other out.
- 2An area of activity, interest, or influence: audiences drawn largely from outside the Party orbitMore example sentences
- It should not be concluded from this that Norman and Plantagenet kings were reluctant to see the orbit of their influence enlarged.
- It places any criticism of government policy in the orbit of illegal activity.
- What the high court has done, however, is to at least bring the torturers within the orbit of the law, subject to some form of accountability and judicial restraint.
- 3 Anatomy The cavity in the skull of a vertebrate that contains the eye; the eye socket.More example sentences
- Because the orbit (eye socket) is made of bone it cannot expand to accommodate the protruding eyeball.
- Orbital inflammation is often caused by sinus infection because of the multiple venous channels that exists between the sinuses and orbits.
- The orbit is a socket for the eyeball, muscles, nerves, and vessels that are necessary for proper functioning of the eye.
- 3.1The area around the eye of a bird or other animal.More example sentences
- The scales vary in form and size from the orbit, head, gill-covers, fins and trunk areas.
- The margins of the orbits are raised above the general surface of the skull.
verb (orbits, orbiting, orbited)[with object] Back to top
- 1(Of a celestial object or spacecraft) move in orbit round (a star or planet): Mercury orbits the SunMore example sentences
- Simply provide us with the exact mass, orbital speed and orbital distance of an undiscovered gas giant planet orbiting a star near our solar system.
- The public has an unprecedented opportunity to suggest places on Mars that should be photographed from a spacecraft orbiting that planet.
- After astronomers find a planet orbiting a given star, they continue to monitor that star in the hope of detecting additional planets.
- 1.1 [no object] Move in a circle: the discs spun and orbited slowlyMore example sentences
revolve round, circle round, go round, travel round• rare encircle
- In the evening, walking out from work, I go by a house with chickens walking in the yard and a small dog orbiting on a chain.
- As they orbited they swept up debris in the dust clouds.
- Once the gas for the ion engine is used up, it will continue to orbit, but will eventually spiral lower until it crashes.
- 1.2Put (a satellite) into orbit: France has been orbiting satellites with her own launcherMore example sentences
- Militaries that can not afford communications satellites of their own can lease transponders on the satellites orbited by other countries, and some - like Australia - have already done so.
- If the Soviets could orbit Sputnik, who was to say that they were not proceeding to develop the capability for a space-based missile attack?
- • informal Into a state of heightened activity, anger, or excitement: his goal sent the fans into orbitMore example sentences
- The noise had sent the stadium into orbit and Dublin just needed another score or two to fix Tyrone with a stare and make them think that losing was a possibility.
- Any compliment she would give him in the past would send him into orbit.
- If you are an aficionado of Spanish wines, the list here will send you into orbit.
mid 16th century (in sense 3 of the noun): from Latin orbita 'course, track' (in medieval Latin 'eye socket'), feminine of orbitus 'circular', from orbis 'ring'.