|1.||astronomy the curved path, usually elliptical, followed by a planet, satellite, comet, etc, in its motion around another celestial body under the influence of gravitation|
|2.||a range or field of action or influence; sphere: he is out of my orbit|
|3.||anatomy Nontechnical name: eye socket the bony cavity containing the eyeball|
|a. the skin surrounding the eye of a bird|
|b. the hollow in which lies the eye or eyestalk of an insect or other arthropod|
|5.||physics the path of an electron in its motion around the nucleus of an atom|
|6.||to move around (a body) in a curved path, usually circular or elliptical|
|7.||(tr) to send (a satellite, spacecraft, etc) into orbit|
|8.||(intr) to move in or as if in an orbit|
|[C16: from Latin orbita course, from orbis circle, |
orbit or·bit (ôr'bĭt)
See orbital cavity.
|orbit (ôr'bĭt) Pronunciation Key
In astronomy, the path followed by an object revolving around another object, under the influence of gravitation (see satellite). In physics, the path followed by an electron within an atom. The planets follow elliptical orbits around the sun (see ellipse).
Note: Informally, something is “in orbit” when its actions are controlled by an external agency or force: “The countries of eastern Europe were once in the orbit of the Soviet Union.”