Definition of orbital in English:

orbital

Syllabification: or·bit·al
Pronunciation: /ˈôrbitl
 
/

adjective

  • 1Of or relating to an orbit or orbits.
    More example sentences
    • With its emphasis on accurate space flight simulation and orbital mechanics, Orbiter is not all things to all space and astronomy enthusiasts.
    • This nearly polar orbit is designed such that the spacecraft's orbital path moves at the same apparent rate as the Sun.
    • This creates increased atmospheric drag on spacecraft in low orbits, shortening their orbital lifetime.
  • 1.1British (Of a road) passing around the outside of a town.
    More example sentences
    • Apple has confirmed its third UK retail location: the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, just outside London's M25 orbital freeway.
    • On February 1st they kick-started the tendering process for the extension of the M77 to Fenwick and the creation of the new Glasgow southern orbital road.
    • The concept of an orbital road around the capital had been discussed since the Royal Commission on London Traffic in 1905.

noun

Physics Back to top  
  • Each of the actual or potential patterns of electron density that may be formed in an atom or molecule by one or more electrons, and that can be represented as a wave function.
    More example sentences
    • In addition, it can also lead to daunting calculations as each atom contributes its orbitals to the whole molecule.
    • The effect is due to the distortion of the electron orbitals because of the magnetic field.
    • It is also possible for two orbitals on each atom to overlap, forming two molecular orbitals between the two atoms.

Origin

mid 16th century (referring to the eye socket): probably from medieval Latin orbitalis, from Latin orbita (see orbit).

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Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space