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neap tide

noun
1.
either of the two tides that occur at the first or last quarter of the moon when the tide-generating forces of the sun and moon oppose each other and produce the smallest rise and fall in tidal level Compare spring tide (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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neap tide in Science
neap tide
  (nēp)   

A tide in which the difference between high and low tide is the least. Neap tides occur twice a month when the Sun and Moon are at right angles to the Earth. When this is the case, their total gravitational pull on the Earth's water is weakened because it comes from two different directions. Compare spring tide. See more at tide.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for neap tide

tide of minimal range occurring near the time when the Moon and the Sun are in quadrature. This condition is geometrically defined as the time at which the line from the Earth to the Moon is at right angles to the line from the Earth to the Sun. Thus, the tide-producing effects of the Sun and the Moon cancel each other, and tidal ranges are usually 10 to 30 percent less than the mean tidal range. See also tide.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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