elongation

[ih-lawng-gey-shuhn, ih-long-, ee-lawng-, ee-long-]
noun
1.
the act of elongating or the state of being elongated.
2.
something that is elongated.
3.
Astronomy. the angular distance, measured from the earth, between a planet or the moon and the sun or between a satellite and the planet about which it revolves.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin ēlongātiōn- (stem of ēlongātiō), equivalent to ēlongāt(us) (see elongate) + -iōn- -ion

nonelongation, noun
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World English Dictionary
elongation (ˌiːlɒŋˈɡeɪʃən)
 
n
1.  the act of elongating or state of being elongated; lengthening
2.  something that is elongated
3.  astronomy the difference between the celestial longitude of the sun and that of a planet or the moon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

elongation
late 14c., from L.L. elongationem (nom. elongatio), from elongare "remove to a distance," from L. ex- "out" + longus "long" (see long (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
elongation  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (ĭ-lông'gā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
The angular distance between two celestial bodies as seen from a third. Elongation is normally conceived as a measure of the angle formed between the Sun and a celestial body, such as a planet or the Moon, with Earth at the vertex. In terms of the celestial sphere, elongation is the distance between the Sun and the body as measured in degrees of celestial longitude. When the body lies on a direct line drawn from Earth to or through the Sun, its elongation is 0° and it is said to be in conjunction. It is said to be in quadrature when it lies at a right angle to a line between the Earth and Sun with an elongation of 90°, and it is in opposition when it lies on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun with an elongation of 180°. Superior planets (those that are farther from the Sun than Earth) have a full range of elongations between 0° and 180°. Inferior planets (those closer to the Sun than Earth) have limited elongations due to their smaller orbits; Venus has a greatest elongation of about 48°, while Mercury's greatest elongation is about 28°. See more at conjunction, opposition.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

elongation

in astronomy, the angular distance in celestial longitude separating the Moon or a planet from the Sun. The greatest elongation possible for the two inferior planets (those closer than the Earth to the Sun) is about 48 in the case of Venus and about 28 in that of Mercury. Elongation may also refer to the angular distance of any celestial body from another around which it revolves or from a particular point in the sky; e.g., the extreme east or west position of a star with reference to the north celestial pole.

Learn more about elongation with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The results are tremendous in that the finished product displayed stronger qualities in tensile and elongation strength.
He slept on a wooden plank, so as not to sink into a mattress and thus impede any elongation that might occur in the night.
Recently there was an article on how a single mutation might be responsible for the elongation of digits in bat wings.
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