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See also: Orbit


Diagram of a planet's orbit, illustrating Kepler's second law.


From Latin orbita (course, track).



orbit (plural orbits)

  1. A circular or elliptical path of one object around another object.
    The Moon's orbit around the Earth takes nearly one month to complete.
  2. A sphere of influence; an area of control.
    In the post WWII era, several eastern European countries came into the orbit of the Soviet Union.
  3. The course of one's usual progression, or the extent of one's typical range.
    The convenience store was a heavily travelled point in her daily orbit, as she purchased both cigarettes and lottery tickets there.
  4. (anatomy) The bony cavity containing the eyeball; the eye socket.
  5. (physics) A mathematical function that describes the wave-like behavior of an electron in an atom; area of the highest probability of electron´s occurrence around the atom's nucleus.
  6. (mathematics) A collection of points related by the evolution function of a dynamical system.
  7. (geometry, group theory) The subset of elements of a set X to which a given element can be moved by members of a specified group of transformations that act on X.


Derived terms[edit]



orbit (third-person singular simple present orbits, present participle orbiting, simple past and past participle orbited)

  1. To circle or revolve around another object.
    The Earth orbits the Sun.
  2. To move around the general vicinity of something.
    The harried mother had a cloud of children orbiting her, asking for sweets.
  3. To place an object into an orbit around a planet.
    A rocket was used to orbit the satellite.




See also[edit]