- the curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite, spaceship, etc., around a celestial body, as the sun.
- the usual course of one's life or range of one's activities.
- the sphere of power or influence, as of a nation or person: a small nation in the Russian orbit.
- Physics. (in Bohr theory) the path traced by an electron revolving around the nucleus of an atom.
- an orb or sphere.
- the bony cavity of the skull that contains the eye; eye socket.
- the eye.
- Zoology. the part surrounding the eye of a bird or insect.
- to move or travel around in an orbital or elliptical path: The earth orbits the sun once every 365.25 days.
- to send into orbit, as a satellite.
- to go or travel in an orbit.
Origin of orbit
Examples from the Web for orbiting
Small red stars vastly outnumber their larger cousins, and the new exoplanet is orbiting one of those.What Does the Discovery of “Another Earth” Mean for Us?
Matthew R. Francis
April 18, 2014
Just as Egyptian fighter jets are orbiting Cairo in a show of strength, the Iranian air force did the same in early February 1979.How the U.S. Will Lose Egypt
January 31, 2011
THE UFO Australian pilot reports something “just orbiting on top of me” before vanishing.Before 447: Seven Other Plane-Crash Mysteries
The Daily Beast
June 5, 2009
Two ships which had been orbiting the planet also changed course and started out.Space Viking
Henry Beam Piper
Now, Herc, on the air, you're orbiting the fourth planet of a sun.Subspace Survivors
E. E. Smith
High precision electronic eyes placed on orbiting satellites picked up the firing of the rocket and the launch parameters.The Civilization of Illiteracy
The moon's dark side was explored, due to the unknown hazards involved, during the orbiting process.Moon Glow
G. L. Vandenburg
Dane rode out the orbiting in the Com-tech's seat, listening in for the first warning of danger—that they had been detected.Plague Ship
- astronomy the curved path, usually elliptical, followed by a planet, satellite, comet, etc, in its motion around another celestial body under the influence of gravitation
- a range or field of action or influence; spherehe is out of my orbit
- anatomy the bony cavity containing the eyeballNontechnical name: eye socket
- the skin surrounding the eye of a bird
- the hollow in which lies the eye or eyestalk of an insect or other arthropod
- physics the path of an electron in its motion around the nucleus of an atom
- to move around (a body) in a curved path, usually circular or elliptical
- (tr) to send (a satellite, spacecraft, etc) into orbit
- (intr) to move in or as if in an orbit
Word Origin and History for orbiting
1946, from orbit (n.). Related: Orbited; orbiting.
late 14c., "the eye socket," from Old French orbite or directly from Medieval Latin orbita, transferred use of Latin orbita "wheel track, beaten path, rut, course, orbit" (see orb). Astronomical sense first recorded 1690s in English; it was in classical Latin, revived in Gerard of Cremona's translation of Avicenna.
- The path followed by a celestial body or artificial satellite as it revolves around another body due to the force of gravity. Orbits are nearly elliptical or circular in shape and are very closely approximated by Kepler's laws of planetary motion.
- One complete revolution of such a body. See Note at solar system.
- A stable quantum state of an electron (or other particle) in motion around an atomic nucleus. See more at orbital.
- Either of two bony hollows in the skull containing the eye and its associated structures.
- To move in an orbit around another body.
- To put into an orbit, as a satellite is put into orbit around the Earth.
Idioms and Phrases with orbiting
see in orbit.