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[per-i-jee] /ˈpɛr ɪˌdʒi/
noun, Astronomy.
the point in the orbit of a heavenly body, especially the moon, or of an artificial satellite at which it is nearest to the earth.
Origin of perigee
1585-95; < French perigée < New Latin perigēum, perigaeum < Greek perígeion (sēmeîon limit), neuter of perígeios near, of the earth, equivalent to peri- peri- + -geios, adj. derivative of gaîa, gê the earth
Related forms
perigeal, perigean, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for perigee


the point in its orbit around the earth when the moon or an artificial satellite is nearest the earth Compare apogee (sense 1)
Derived Forms
perigean, perigeal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via French from Greek perigeion, from peri- + gea earth
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 perigee

"point at which a celestial body is nearest the Earth," 1590s, from Modern Latin perigeum (15c.), from Late Greek peregeion, used by Ptolemy as a noun, properly neuter of adjective perigeios "near the earth," from peri ges, from peri "near" (see peri-) + ges, genitive of ge "earth" (see Gaia).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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perigee in Science
  1. The point nearest Earth's center in the orbit of the Moon or an artificial satellite.

  2. The point in an orbit that is nearest to the body being orbited. Compare apogee, perihelion.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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perigee in Culture
perigee [(per-uh-jee)]

The point in the orbit of a satellite at which it is closest to its parent body. (Compare apogee.)

The 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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