American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or an instance of nodding the head.
- n. A wobble in a spinning gyroscope or other rotating body.
- n. Astronomy A small periodic motion of the celestial pole of the earth with respect to the pole of the ecliptic.
- n. Botany A slight curving or circular movement in a stem, as of a twining plant, caused by irregular growth rates of different parts.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A nodding.
- n. In pathology, a constant nodding or involuntary shaking of the head.
- n. In astronomy, a small subordinate gyratory movement of the earth's axis, in virtue of which, if it subsisted alone, the pole would describe among the stars, in a period of about nineteen years, a minute ellipse, having its longer axis directed toward the pole of the ecliptic, and the shorter, of course, at right angles to it. The consequence of this real motion of the pole is an apparent approach and recession of all the stars in the heavens to the pole in the same period; and the same cause will give rise to a small alternate advance and recession of the equinoctial points, by which both the longitudes and the right ascensions of the stars will be also alternately increased or diminished. This nutation, however, is combined with another motion—namely, the precession of the equinoxes—and in virtue of the two motions the path which the pole describes is neither an ellipse nor a circle, but a gently undulated ring; and these undulations constitute each of them a nutation of the earth's axis. Both these motions and their combined effect arise from the same physical cause—namely, the action of the sun and moon upon the protuberant mass at the earth's equator. See
- n. In botany, same as circumnutation.
- n. physics a bobbing motion that accompanies the precession of a spinning rigid body
- n. a nodding motion (of the head etc.)
- n. astronomy any of several irregularities in the precession of the equinoxes caused by varying torque applied to the Earth by the Sun and the Moon
- n. botany the circular motion of the tip of a growing shoot
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of nodding.
- n. (Astron.) A very small libratory motion of the earth's axis, by which its inclination to the plane of the ecliptic is constantly varying by a small amount.
- n. The motion of a flower in following the apparent movement of the sun, from the east in the morning to the west in the evening.
- n. Circumnutation.
- n. uncontrolled nodding
- First attested in 1610s. Derived from Latin nutatio, from nūtō ("I nod"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin nūtātiō, nūtātiōn-, from nūtātus, past participle of nūtāre, frequentative of -nuere, to nod. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“If, however, the spheres were somewhat flattened at the poles, and the axes inclined to each other, then the pull of one mass on the other would cause the polar axes to keep up a constant movement which is called nutation, or nodding.”
“This phenomenon, known as "nutation," was discovered by the beautiful telescopic researches of Bradley, in 1747.”
“In addition to this steady decrease, there are also much smaller short term (18.6 years) variations, that is also affected by Sun's gravitation in its depleting angle relative to Earth's, known as nutation.”
“Note that the observed nutation a lunar effect is much larger than the polar motion from the earthquake, so a question he would have to answer is why there is no apparent cycle in temperature from the former.”
“Amusingly the effect isn't the impressive-sounding nutation at all as a matter of definition, so no amount of calculation saves him from this boo-boo, but rather just plain polar motion.”
“And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind?”
“The phenomenon, however, subsequently provided important evidence for Newton's theory of gravity when d'Alembert in 1749 carried out a successful derivation based on rigid body motion and a correct value of the Moon's force derived from the then recently discovered phenomenon of the nutation of the Earth.”
““I believe that if we introduce a more tightly focused nutation cycle in our deflector shields, and channel power to the shield generators directly from the warp engines, we can produce sufficient energy for the shields to protect against contamination of the dilithium crystals.””
“Each shot is actually millions of separate pulses, each at a slightly different nutation.”
“Synchronize shield emitter nutation to the warp field coil output frequency.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘nutation’.
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Words used in Astronomy
I'm wading through Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels one by one, and someday, I'll wade through them again and list all the words I learned while reading them.
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All the words from the Grandiloquent Dictionary.
946 of these 2700 words do not yield any results in six different dictionaries, hence many of them might be misspellings.
These are just some random words that I might find a list for someday.
Words gathered from the website www.freerice.com (try it out and help donate free rice to the UN World food program - yes, really)
Looking for tweets for nutation.