Definitions

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

  • n. The act or state of preceding; precedence.
  • n. Physics The motion of the axis of a spinning body, such as the wobble of a spinning top, when there is an external force acting on the axis.
  • n. Astronomy Precession of the equinoxes.
  • n. Astronomy A slow gyration of the earth's axis around the pole of the ecliptic, caused mainly by the gravitational pull of the sun, moon, and other planets on the earth's equatorial bulge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. precedence
  • n. The wobbling motion of the axis of a spinning body when there is an external force acting on the axis.
  • n. The slow gyration of the earth’s axis around the pole of the ecliptic, caused mainly by the gravitational torque of the sun and moon.
  • n. Any of several slow changes in an astronomical body's rotational or orbital parameters.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of going before, or forward.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of going before or of moving forward; advance.
  • n. Precedence.
  • n. In philology, a weakening of a vowel due to a change of accent; a change from a full strong vowel to a thinner one: opposed to progression.
  • n. In mech., the cyclic movement of the axis of rotation of a body which revolves about a free axis in a field of force. In order that precession shall occur the body must not be a homogeneous sphere and the axis of rotation must be inclined to the lines of force of the field.

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

  • n. the motion of a spinning body (as a top) in which it wobbles so that the axis of rotation sweeps out a cone
  • n. the act of preceding in time or order or rank (as in a ceremony)

Etymologies

Late Latin praecessiō, praecessiōn-, from Latin praecessus, past participle of praecēdere, to go before; see precede.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • (The observed precession is really 5270 ''/century, but a painstaking calculation to subtract the disturbances from all the other planets gives the value of 43 ''.)

    Forces

  • Kunkle's re-examining of astrology is rooted in the Earth's "precession" -- put simply, the gravity-fueled change in orientation of the Earth's rotational axis.

    latimes.com - News

  • Another aspect of the precession is the length of winter and summer.

    Milankovitch cycles

  • This phenomenon is known as the precession of the equinox, in other words, the backwards motion of the sun's equinox position.

    Tibetan Astro Sciences ��� 1 Basic Principles

  • It is also referred to as the precession of the equinoxes or the great year in a comprehensive dictionary.

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • This effect is known as the precession of the equinox.

    Causes of climate change

  • There is also geodetic precession, which is a general-relativistic effect due to the curvature of spacetime about the Earth (and which would be present even if the Earth were not rotating).

    Dragging on

  • The date for this shift of ages derives from a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinox, which refers to the equinox moving backwards.

    Taking the Kalachakra Initiation ��� 3 External Kalachakra

  • This phenomenon is known as the precession of the equinox.

    Tibeto-Mongolian Astrology and Karma

  • The apparent orbits of the sun, moon, planets, and stars had been correctly observed, so that eclipses might be predicted, conjunction of planets calculated, and that {617} gradual movement of the sun through the signs of the zodiac known as the precession of the equinoxes, taken account of.

    The Age of the Reformation

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