Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The point nearest the earth's center in the orbit of the moon or a satellite.
  • n. The point in any orbit nearest to the body being orbited.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The point, in an orbit about the Earth, that is closest to the Earth: the periapsis of an Earth orbiter.
  • n. The point, in an orbit about any planet, that is closest to the planet: the periapsis of any satellite.
  • n. The point, in any trajectory of an object in space, where it is closest to the Earth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That point, in the orbit of the moon or other body orbiting the earth, which is nearest to the earth; -- opposed to apogee. It is sometimes, but rarely, used of the nearest points of bodies not orbiting the earth, such as of a comet, a planet, etc. Called also epigee, epigeum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That point of the moon's orbit which is nearest to the earth: when the moon has arrived at this point, she is said to be in her perigee.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. periapsis in Earth orbit; the point in its orbit where a satellite is nearest to the Earth

Etymologies

French périgée, from Medieval Latin perigēum, from Late Greek perigeion : Greek peri-, peri- + Greek , earth.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Latin perigeum, perigaeum, ultimately from Ancient Greek περί (peri, "near") + γῆ (gē, "Earth"). (Wiktionary)

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