Definitions

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

  • noun The point in a solar orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the sun.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That point of the orbit of a planet or comet in which it is at its least distance from the sun: opposed to aphelion.

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

  • noun (Astron.) That point of the orbit of a planet or comet which is nearest to the sun; -- opposed to aphelion.

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

  • noun astronomy The point in the elliptical orbit of a planet or comet etc. where it is nearest to the Sun.

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

  • noun periapsis in solar orbit; the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of New Latin perihēlium : peri– + Greek hēlios, sun; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

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Comments

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  • opposite = aphelion

    June 22, 2008

  • Archaic spelling "perihelium."

    "... in astronomy, is that point of a planet's or comet's orbit which is nearest the sun, in which sense it stands opposed to aphelium aphelion'>aphelion."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 341

    October 13, 2008

  • "Simultaneously, from the media perihelion, infused with the spirit of Jerry Springer, arose confessions, observations and revelations about a lifestyle that would have nauseated even William S.Burroughs, involving drug dependence, financial lunacy, lack of concern about the sentient world and disregard for others."

    - Robert Kaplan, A talent for lies and abuse, theaustralian.com.au, 8 July 2009.

    July 8, 2009