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See more synonyms for perigee on Thesaurus.com
noun Astronomy.
  1. 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.
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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 formsper·i·ge·al, per·i·ge·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for perigee

Historical Examples

  • That point of the moon's orbit which is furthest from the earth; the opposite of perigee.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • It now has a perigee slightly below 110 miles and an apogee of about 400 miles.

  • Perigee, the point in the orbit of the moon or a planet nearest the earth.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

    Edited by Rev. James Wood

  • The Moon, with regard to the Earth, is similarly in her perigee, and her apogee.

  • On the longitude of the perigee of the lunar orbit at the time.

British Dictionary definitions for perigee


  1. the point in its orbit around the earth when the moon or an artificial satellite is nearest the earthCompare apogee (def. 1)
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Derived Formsperigean or 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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

perigee in Culture



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

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.