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Word of the Day
Monday, September 16, 2013

Definitions for orrery

  1. an apparatus for representing the positions, motions, and phases of the planets, satellites, etc., in the solar system.
  2. any of certain similar machines, as a planetarium.

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Citations for orrery
For part of the clock was an orrery: a mechanical model of the solar system that displayed the current positions of the planets and many of their moons. Neal Stephenson, Anathem, 2010
But now he lies in hospital, mortally ill; and while his orrery still rests on the grand cherrywood desk, his photograph still hangs on the office wall (smiling mirthlessly, like a king who has wearied of his crown) and his iridescent fish still shimmer through the gloom of the aquarium on the dresser, his many bookcases are empty, save for dust and a single stress-busting executive toy like a hastily planted flag. Paul Murray, Skippy Dies, 2010
Origin of orrery
Orrery is an eponym named after Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery. Orrery was the patron of George Graham who created a mechanical model of solar system. It entered English in the early 1700s.