Dictionary.com

gas giant

[ gas-jahy-uhnt ]
/ ˈgæs ˌdʒaɪ ənt /
Save This Word!

noun Astronomy.
a giant planet composed mostly of hydrogen and helium: the two gas giants in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, are sometimes called failed stars because their composition is similar to that of stars, but this is largely considered misleading, as gas giants, unlike brown dwarfs, do not form as stars do.Compare ice giant.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of gas giant

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gas giant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gas giant

gas giant

noun
one of the four planets in our solar system that are composed chiefly of hydrogen and helium, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

Word Origin for gas giant

C20: coined by James Blish (1921–75), US science fiction writer
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

Scientific definitions for gas giant

gas giant

A large, massive, low-density planet composed primarily of hydrogen, helium, methane, and ammonia in either gaseous or liquid state. Gas giants have swirling atmospheres primarily of hydrogen and helium, with no well-defined planetary surface; they are assumed to have rocky cores. They are also characterized by ring systems, although only Saturn's is readily visible from Earth. Our solar system contains four gas giants: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The majority of extrasolar planets discovered so far are the size of the solar system's gas giants, although they orbit their stars much more closely and may differ in composition from ours. Also called Jovian planet Compare terrestrial planet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK