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[nep-toon, -tyoon] /ˈnɛp tun, -tyun/
any whelk of the genus Neptunea, especially N. decemcostata, common along the eastern coast of North America and having a shell with seven to ten raised reddish-brown spiral ridges on a pale beige or yellow background.
Origin of neptune
< New Latin Neptunea; see Neptune, -ea


[nep-toon, -tyoon] /ˈnɛp tun, -tyun/
the ancient Roman god of the sea, identified with the Greek god Poseidon.
the sea or ocean:
Neptune's mighty roar.
Astronomy. the planet eighth in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 30,200 miles (48,600 km), a mean distance from the sun of 2794.4 million miles (4497.1 million km), a period of revolution of 164.81 years, and two moons.
a township in E New Jersey. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for neptune
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Telegraph to me there to my club, the Mars and neptune, Piccadilly.

    The Passenger from Calais Arthur Griffiths
  • O shell-borne neptune, I am pierc'd and stung With new-born life!

    Endymion John Keats
  • But neptune is now far away, outside of the Greek world, so to speak, among the Ethiopians.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • Let him alone,” exclaimed neptune; “he is beneath our notice, after all.

  • It was the element in his way, the environment always hostile to him; neptune was the deity who was angry and made him suffer.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
British Dictionary definitions for neptune


the Roman god of the sea Greek counterpart Poseidon


the eighth planet from the sun, having fourteen known satellites, the largest being Triton and Nereid, and a faint planar system of rings or ring fragments. Mean distance from sun: 4497 million km; period of revolution around sun: 164.8 years; period of rotation: 14 to 16 hours; diameter and mass: 4.0 and 17.2 times that of earth respectively
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
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Word Origin and History for neptune


late 14c., "god of the sea," from Latin Neptunus, son of Saturn, brother of Jupiter, the Roman god of the sea (later identified with Greek Poseidon), probably from PIE root *nebh- "cloud" (cf. Latin nebula "fog, mist, cloud;" see nebula), via a sense of "moist, wet." The planet so named was discovered by Galle in 1846. Until the identification of Pluto in 1930, it was the most distant planet known.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neptune in Science
The eighth planet from the Sun and the fourth largest, with a diameter almost four times that of Earth. Neptune is a gas giant with a very active weather system, exhibiting extremely long and powerful storms with the fastest winds observed in the solar system. Neptune's axis is tilted 28.8° from the plane of its orbit, and its summer and winter seasons each last 40 years. For a period of 20 years out of every 248, Pluto's highly elliptical orbit crosses within that of Neptune, making Neptune the farthest planet from the Sun during that period. Neptune has four faint rings and 13 known moons and appears blue due to the absorption of red light by the methane within its atmosphere. See Table at solar system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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neptune in Culture

[Greek name Poseidon]

The Roman and Greek god who ruled the sea.

Note: Neptune is frequently portrayed as a bearded giant with a fish's scaly tail, holding a large three-pronged spear, or trident.
Note: The eighth planet from the sun (the Earth is third) is named Neptune.

Neptune definition

In astronomy, a major planet, the eighth planet from the sun. Neptune is named for the Roman god of the sea. Neptune is similar in size and composition to Uranus. It is usually visible only through a telescope and was discovered in the 1840s. For a period ending in 1999, Pluto's orbit took it inside the orbit of neptune. (See solar system; see under “Mythology and Folklore.”)

Note: Some astronomers have suggested that Pluto is not a planet in the usual sense but is an object more like an asteroid, and that Neptune, therefore, is actually the outermost planet.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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