Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[ih-lawng-gey-shuh n, ih-long-, ee-lawng-, ee-long-] /ɪ lɔŋˈgeɪ ʃən, ɪ lɒŋ-, ˌi lɔŋ-, ˌi lɒŋ-/
the act of elongating or the state of being elongated.
something that is elongated.
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.
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin ēlongātiōn- (stem of ēlongātiō), equivalent to ēlongāt(us) (see elongate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonelongation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for elongation
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for elongation


the act of elongating or state of being elongated; lengthening
something that is elongated
(astronomy) the difference between the celestial longitude of the sun and that of a planet or the moon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for elongation

late 14c., from Late Latin elongationem (nominative elongatio), noun of action from elongare "remove to a distance," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + longus "long" (see long (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
elongation in Science
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.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for 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
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for elongation

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for elongation

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for elongation