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semimajor axis

[sem-ee-mey-jer, sem-ahy-, sem-ee-, sem-ahy-] /ˈsɛm iˈmeɪ dʒər, ˈsɛm aɪ-, ˌsɛm i-, ˌsɛm aɪ-/
noun
1.
Geometry. one half the major axis of an ellipse.
2.
Astronomy. one half the major axis of the ellipse that one celestial body describes around another, as a planet around the sun or a satellite around a planet, equivalent to the mean distance between the two bodies.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30; semi- + major
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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