Architecture. a semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a choir in a church. See diag. under basilica.
Astronomy. an apsis.

1815–25; variant of apsis

apsidal [ap-si-dl] , adjective
apsidally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To apsidal
World English Dictionary
apse (æps)
1.  Also called: apsis a domed or vaulted semicircular or polygonal recess, esp at the east end of a church
2.  astronomy another name for apsis
[C19: from Latin apsis, from Greek: a fitting together, arch, from haptein to fasten]

apsis (ˈæpsɪs)
n , pl apsides
1.  Also called: apse either of two points lying at the extremities of an eccentric orbit of a planet, satellite, etc, such as the aphelion and perihelion of a planet or the apogee and perigee of the moon. The line of apsides connects two such points and is the principal axis of the orbit
2.  another name for apse
[C17: via Latin from Greek; see apse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"semicircular extension at the end of a church," 1846, from L. apsis "an arch, a vault," from Gk. hapsis (Ionic apsis) "loop, arch," originally "a fastening, felloe of a wheel," from haptein "fasten together;" the original sense in Gk. seems to have been the joining of the arcs to form a circle, especially
in making a wheel. The architectural term is earlier attested in Eng. in the L. form (1706).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Related Words
Related Searches
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature