American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The longer of the two lines about which an ellipse is symmetrical; the axis that passes through both focuses of an ellipse.
- n. geometry The longest diameter of an ellipse, running through the center and foci, with its ends being the widest points of the shape.
- n. geometry The diameter of a circle.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Geom.) The greater axis of a geometrical figure. the longest axis of an ellipse or ellipsoid, which passes through the two foci. See Focus, n., 2.
- n. the longest axis of an ellipse or ellipsoid; passes through the two foci
“Apse: An extremity of the major axis of the orbit of a body; a body is at its greatest and least distances from the body about which it revolves, when at one or other apse.”
“This section consists of three high ranges that form a kind of ellipse of which the major axis is in a south-easterly direction.”
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