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

  • noun Astronomy The point in an orbit around the planet Earth where the orbiting body is closest to the planet.
  • noun The analogous point in an orbit around a celestial body other than Earth. Not in technical use.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Astron.) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[French périgée, from Medieval Latin perigēum, from Late Greek perigeion : Greek peri-, peri- + Greek , earth.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via Latin perigeum, perigaeum, ultimately from Ancient Greek περί (peri, "near") + γῆ (gē, "Earth").


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  • It's the closest the Moon has been to Earth in 18 years, a point in the orbit otherwise called a "perigee," from Latin for "violating moon restraining order."

    I blame the SuperMoon 2011

  • At midnight she will be in perigee, that is, at her shortest distance from the earth, and at the same moment she will be crossing the zenith.

    From the Earth to the Moon 2003

  • The "anomalistic month" is the time occupied by the moon in travelling from its perigee, that is its point of nearest approach to the earth, round to its perigee again.

    The Astronomy of the Bible An Elementary Commentary on the Astronomical References of Holy Scripture 1889

  • To-day I became strongly impressed with the idea, that the balloon was now actually running up the line of apsides to the point of perigee -- in other words, holding the direct course which would bring it immediately to the moon in that part of its orbit the nearest to the earth.

    The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1 Edgar Allan Poe 1829

  • The nearest point on its orbit from the earth is called perigee and the farthest is called apogee.

    The Hindu - Front Page 2010

  • When the moon is closest to Earth, it is called perigee (compare to apogee, which occurs when the moon is at its most distant point away from Earth). - Local News 2009

  • Astronomers call the point of closest approach "perigee," and that is where the Moon will be this weekend.

    Biggest Full Moon Of The Year: Take 2 Oldhead1 2009

  • Well! whenever the moon is in a favorable condition as to the zenith, if not to the perigee, that is to say about once a year, could you not send us a shell packed with provisions, which we might expect on some appointed day?”

    From the Earth to the Moon 2003

  • When the moon is at its closest, it's at its "perigee," and when it's at its farthest, it's at its

    Omaha World-Herald > Frontpage 2010

  • Initial orbital parameters are period 101 min, apogee 821 km, perigee 783 km, and inclination 74 deg

    Satellite Collisions: Sooner Or Later ... - NASA Watch 2009


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  • simply nice, especially when combined with apogee

    April 19, 2007