cometic

comet

[kom-it]
noun Astronomy.
a celestial body moving about the sun, usually in a highly eccentric orbit, consisting of a central mass surrounded by an envelope of dust and gas that may form a tail that streams away from the sun.

Origin:
1150–1200; Middle English comete < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin comētēs, comēta < Greek komḗtēs wearing long hair, equivalent to komē-, variant stem of komân to let one's hair grow (derivative of kómē hair) + -tēs agent suffix

cometary [kom-i-ter-ee] , cometic [kuh-met-ik] , cometical, adjective
cometlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cometic
Collins
World English Dictionary
comet (ˈkɒmɪt)
 
n
a celestial body that travels around the sun, usually in a highly elliptical orbit: thought to consist of a solid frozen nucleus part of which vaporizes on approaching the sun to form a gaseous luminous coma and a long luminous tail
 
[C13: from Old French comète, from Latin comēta, from Greek komētēs long-haired, from komē hair]
 
'cometary
 
adj
 
cometic
 
adj

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
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

comet
1154, from O.Fr. comete, from L. cometa, from Gk. (aster) kometes, lit. "long-haired (star)," from kome "hair of the head" (koman "let the hair grow long"), so called from resemblance of the comet's tail to streaming hair.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
comet  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (kŏm'ĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
A celestial object that orbits the Sun along an elongated path. A comet that is not near the Sun consists only of a nucleus—a solid core of frozen water, frozen gases, and dust. When a comet comes close to the Sun, its nucleus heats up and releases a gaseous coma that surrounds the nucleus. A comet forms a tail when solar heat or wind forces dust or gas off its coma, with the tail always streaming away from the Sun. ◇ Short-period comets have orbital periods of less than 200 years and come from the region known as the Kuiper belt. Long-period comets have periods greater than 200 years and come from the Oort cloud. See more at Kuiper belt, Oort cloud. See Note at solar system.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

comet definition


An object that enters the inner solar system, typically in a very elongated orbit around the sun. Material is boiled off from the comet by the heat of the sun, so that a characteristic tail is formed. The path of a comet can be in the form of an ellipse or a hyperbola. If it follows a hyperbolic path, it enters the solar system once and then leaves forever. If its path is an ellipse, it stays in orbit around the sun.

Note: Comets were once believed to be omens, and their appearances in the sky were greatly feared or welcomed.
Note: The most famous comet, Comet Halley (or Halley's comet), passes close to the Earth roughly every seventy-six years, most recently in 1986.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
COMET
Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature