Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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.
Origin of elongation
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. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for elongation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
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

Word of the Day

Nearby words for elongation

Word Value for elongation

Scrabble Words With Friends