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late 14c., originally of planets, from Old French conjonction "union, joining, sexual intercourse" (12c.), from Latin coniunctionem (nominative coniunctio), from past participle stem of coniugare "join together" (see conjugal). Cf. Italian congiunzione, Spanish conjunción. Grammatical sense (late 14c.) was in Latin, a loan-translation of Greek syndesmos. The word also had the meaning "sexual union" 17c.-18c.
The position of two celestial bodies when they have the same celestial longitude, especially a configuration in which a planet or the Moon lies on a straight line from Earth to or through the Sun. Planets in this position are not visible to the naked eye because they are in line with the Sun and obscured by its glare; the Moon in this position is new. ◇ The inner planets Mercury and Venus have two conjunction points with Earth. Either planet is at inferior conjunction when it lies directly between the Earth and the Sun, and is at superior conjunction when it lies directly opposite Earth on the far side of the Sun. The outer planets have only one conjunction point with Earth, when they lie opposite Earth on the far side of the Sun. Compare opposition. See more at elongation.
A word that joins words or groups of words. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and subordinating. Coordinating conjunctions include and, but, or, not, yet, for, and so. Correlative conjunctions include the words in the pairs either/or, both/and, and neither/nor. Subordinating conjunctions begin subordinate clauses (see subordination) and join them to the rest of the sentence: “She didn't learn the real reason until she left the valley.”
in astronomy, an apparent meeting or passing of two or more celestial bodies. The Moon is in conjunction with the Sun at the phase of New Moon, when it moves between the Earth and Sun and the side turned toward the Earth is dark. Inferior planets-those with orbits smaller than the Earth's (namely, Venus and Mercury)-have two kinds of conjunctions with the Sun. An inferior conjunction occurs when the planet passes approximately between Earth and Sun; if it passes exactly between them, moving across the Sun's face as seen from Earth, it is said to be in transit. A superior conjunction occurs when Earth and the other planet are on opposite sides of the Sun, but all three bodies are again nearly in a straight line. Superior planets, those having orbits larger than the Earth's, can have only superior conjunctions with the Sun. Conjunctions of planets with one another are considered of great importance in astrology. See also opposition