1585-95; alteration (after Frenchapogée) of earlier apogaeum < Latin < Greekapógaion (diástema) off-earth (distance), neuter of apógaios (adj.), equivalent to apo-apo- + gáïos of the earth, derivative of gaîa, variant of gê the earth
"point at which the moon is farthest from the earth," 1590s, from Fr. apogée, from L. apogæum, from Gk. apogaion, neut. adj., "away from the earth," a term from Ptolemaic astronomy, from apo "off, away" (see apo-) + gaia/ge "earth."