the act or fact of preceding; precedence.
Mechanics. the motion of the rotation axis of a rigid body, as a spinning top, when a disturbing torque is applied while the body is rotating such that the rotation axis describes a cone, with the vertical through the vertex of the body as axis of the cone, and the motion of the rotating body is perpendicular to the direction of the torque.
the slow, conical motion of the earth's axis of rotation, caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, and, to a smaller extent, of the planets, on the equatorial bulge of the earth.
- pre·ces·sion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use precession in a sentence
The new study also found evidence of phase precession outside of spatial tasks, lending some weight to the idea it may be a more general process in learning throughout the brain.A Neuron’s Sense of Timing Encodes Information in the Human Brain | Jason Dorrier | July 11, 2021 | Singularity Hub
The researchers say more studies are needed to flesh out the role of phase precession in the brain, and how or if it contributes to learning is still uncertain.A Neuron’s Sense of Timing Encodes Information in the Human Brain | Jason Dorrier | July 11, 2021 | Singularity Hub
Notably, the rate of that precession diverged slightly from the standard model expectation, physicists report April 7 in a virtual seminar, and in a paper published in Physical Review Letters.Muon magnetism could hint at a breakdown of physics’ standard model | Emily Conover | April 7, 2021 | Science News
After the pulse, the precession frequencies gradually become unsynchronized again as the protons return to their upright orientation, spinning off at different rates like dancers embarking on their solos.
A radiofrequency pulse not only knocks protons down, but synchronizes their spins with each other, matching their precession frequencies into a coordinated group choreography.
This is due to what is known as "precession;" a slow movement of the axis upon which the earth rotates.The Astronomy of the Bible | E. Walter Maunder
Does the precession of the equinoxes have any effect upon the seasons or upon the climate of different parts of the earth?A Text-Book of Astronomy | George C. Comstock
Will the precession ever bring back the right ascensions and declinations to be again what they now are?A Text-Book of Astronomy | George C. Comstock
This slow movement forward of the goal-post is called precession—the precession of the equinoxes.Pioneers of Science | Oliver Lodge
Instruct the computer to discontinue precession operations that have been initiated.Where I Wasn't Going | Walt Richmond
British Dictionary definitions for precession
the act of preceding
the motion of a spinning body, such as a top, gyroscope, or planet, in which it wobbles so that the axis of rotation sweeps out a cone
- precessional, adjective
- precessionally, adverb
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 precession
The rotational motion of the axis of a spinning body, such as the wobbling of a spinning top, caused by torque applied to the body along its axis of rotation.
The motion of this kind made by the Earth's axis, caused mainly by the gravitational pull of the Sun, Moon, and other planets. The precession of Earth's axis has a period of nearly 25,800 years, during which time the reference points on the equatorial coordinate system (the celestial poles and celestial equator) will gradually shift their positions on the celestial sphere.♦ The precession of the equinoxes is the slow westward shift of the autumnal and vernal equinoxes along the ecliptic, resulting from precession of the Earth's axis. See also nutation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.