from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The path of a celestial body or an artificial satellite as it revolves around another body due to their mutual gravitational attraction.
  • noun One complete revolution of such a body.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A range of activity, experience, or knowledge.
  • noun A range of control or influence: synonym: range.
  • noun Either of two bony cavities in the skull containing an eye and its external structures.
  • intransitive verb To move in an orbit.
  • intransitive verb To revolve around (a center of attraction).
  • intransitive verb To put into an orbit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Track; course; path, especially a path, as that in a circle or an ellipse, which returns into itself; specifically, in astronomy, the path of a planet or comet; the curve-line which a planet describes in its periodical revolution round its central body or center of revolution: as, the orbit of Jupiter or Mercury.
  • noun A small orb, globe, or ball.
  • noun In anatomy and zoology, the bony cavity of the skull which contains the eye; the eye-socket.
  • noun In ornithology, the orbita, or circumorbital region of a bird's head; the skin of the eyelids and adjoining parts.
  • noun In entomology, the border surrounding the compound eye of an insect, especially when it forms a raised ring, or differs in color or texture from the rest of the head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Astron.) The path described by a heavenly body in its periodical revolution around another body.
  • noun Rare & Improper An orb or ball.
  • noun (Anat.) The cavity or socket of the skull in which the eye and its appendages are situated.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The skin which surrounds the eye of a bird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A circular or elliptical path of one object around another object.
  • noun A sphere of influence; an area of control.
  • noun The course of one's usual progression, or the extent of one's typical range.
  • noun anatomy The bony cavity containing the eyeball; the eye socket.
  • noun physics The path an electron takes around an atom's nucleus.
  • noun mathematics A collection of points related by the evolution function of a dynamical system.
  • verb To circle or revolve around another object.
  • verb To move around the general vicinity of something.
  • verb To place an object into an orbit around a planet.

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

  • verb move in an orbit
  • noun a particular environment or walk of life
  • noun the (usually elliptical) path described by one celestial body in its revolution about another
  • noun the bony cavity in the skull containing the eyeball
  • noun an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control:
  • noun the path of an electron around the nucleus of an atom


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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin orbita ("course, track").


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  • Also the part of the skull in which the eye sits.

    December 17, 2007