- of or relating to an orbit.
- Physics, Chemistry.
- a wave function describing the state of a single electron in an atom (atomic orbital) or in a molecule (molecular orbital).
- the electron in that state.
Origin of orbital
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for orbital
These companies include SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, and more.Luxembourg and China Team Up on Private Mission to the Moon
Matthew R. Francis
October 26, 2014
Now, Orbital Comics Gallery is seeking to address the issue through an exhibit titled 'Image Duplicator.'Revenge of the Nerds!
May 30, 2013
When it was over, Keith had been stabbed in the shoulder, and Brandon had a fractured eye socket and orbital wall.Arnold Pardoned My Son’s Attacker
May 11, 2011
They tell Sandra McElwaine about their orbital road trip ahead of Scott's liftoff this week.
Prepping for their joint venture, the siblings seem amazingly cool about their orbital road trip.
But, because of it's great mass, our orbital velocity is something terrific!Islands of Space
John W Campbell
He told me to fall out to him at a greater than orbital speed.The Black Star Passes
John W Campbell
Also there are differences in the breadth of the orbital ring.The Avifauna of Micronesia, Volume 3
Rollin H. Baker
Its diameter is 3000 miles, and it completes its orbital revolution in 88 days.Comets and Meteors
What is the orbital speed of Mercury, and what that of Neptune?The Chautauquan, Vol. III, February 1883
The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle
- of or denoting an orbit
- (of a motorway or major road circuit) circling a large city
- a region surrounding an atomic nucleus in which the probability distribution of the electrons is given by a wave function
- an orbital road
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
Word Origin and History for orbital
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Relating to an orbit.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A partial description of the quantum state of an electron (or other particle) orbiting the nucleus of an atom. Different orbitals have different shapes and orientations, depending on the energy of the electron, its angular momentum, and its magnetic number. Orbitals have no clear boundaries; the shape of an orbital, as depicted graphically, shows only the regions around the nucleus in which an electron has a relatively high probability of being found. No more than two electrons (each with opposite spin) can coexist in a single orbital because of the Pauli exclusion principle. See also probability wave quantum number shell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.