[ per-uh-hee-lee-uh n, -heel-yuh n ]
/ ˌpɛr əˈhi li ən, -ˈhil yən /

noun, plural per·i·he·li·a [per-uh-hee-lee-uh, -heel-yuh] /ˌpɛr əˈhi li ə, -ˈhil yə/. Astronomy.

the point in the orbit of a planet or comet at which it is nearest to the sun.

Nearby words

  1. perigon,
  2. perigonium,
  3. perigordian,
  4. perigynous,
  5. perigyny,
  6. perihepatitis,
  7. perijejunitis,
  8. perikaryon,
  9. peril,
  10. peril point

Compare aphelion.

Origin of perihelion

1660–70; < Greek peri- peri- + hḗli(os) sun + -on neuter noun suffix, on the model of perigee; earlier in the New Latin form perihelium

Related formsper·i·he·li·al, per·i·he·li·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perihelia

British Dictionary definitions for perihelia


/ (ˌpɛrɪˈhiːlɪən) /

noun plural -lia (-lɪə)

the point in its orbit when a planet or comet is nearest the sunCompare aphelion

Word Origin for perihelion

C17: from New Latin perihēlium, from peri- + Greek hēlios sun

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 perihelia



"point at which a celestial body is nearest the Sun," 1680s, coined in Modern Latin (perihelium) by Kepler (1596) from Latinizations of Greek peri "near" (see peri-) + helios "sun" (see sol). Subsequently re-Greeked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for perihelia


[ pĕr′ə-hēlē-ən ]

The point at which an orbiting object, such as a planet or a comet, is closest to the Sun. Compare aphelion perigee.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.