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or·bit (ôrbĭt)
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n.
1.
a. The path of a celestial body or an artificial satellite as it revolves around another body due to their mutual gravitational attraction.
b. One complete revolution of such a body.
2. The path of a body in a field of force surrounding another body; for example, the movement of an atomic electron in relation to a nucleus.
3.
a. A range of activity, experience, or knowledge.
b. A range of control or influence: "What magnetism drew these quaking ruined creatures into his orbit?" (Malcolm Lowry). See Synonyms at range.
4. Either of two bony cavities in the skull containing an eye and its external structures. Also called eye socket.
v. or·bit·ed, or·bit·ing, or·bits
v.intr.
To move in an orbit.
v.tr.
1. To revolve around (a center of attraction): The moon orbits Earth.
2. To put into an orbit: The space agency orbited a new satellite.

[Middle English orbita, eye socket, from Old French orbite, from Latin orbita, orbit, probably from orbis.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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