elliptical[e lip′ti kəl, i-]
- The definition of elliptical is something that resembles or relates to an ellipse, a plane that intersects a cone.
An example of elliptical is the orbit of the earth around the sun.
- of, or having the form of, an ellipse, as some leaves
- of or characterized by ellipsis; with a word or words omitted, with obscure, incomplete constructions, etc.
Origin of elliptical; from Classical Greek elleiptikos (see ellipse) + -al
(comparative more elliptical, superlative most elliptical)
- In a shape reminding of an ellipse; oval.
- Of, or showing ellipsis; having a word or words omitted.
- If he is sometimes elliptical and obscure, it is because he has so much to tell us. -- Edmund Wilson
- (of speech) Concise, condensed.
- (mathematics, rare) Alternative form of elliptic.
- Being flat and in the shape of a twice-symmetrical ellipse; oval.
- In botanical usage, elliptic(al) refers only to the general shape of the object (usually a leaf), independently of its apex or margin (sometimes the base), so that an "elliptic leaf" may very well be pointed at both ends. A three-dimensional elliptical object is ellipsoid, while an object that is not a perfectly stretched circle is ovoid or obovoid.