- Med. the act or an instance of nodding the head, esp. when involuntary
- a periodic variation in the inclination from the vertical of the rotation axis of a spinning body, as a top
- Astron. such a small, periodic oscillation of the earth's axis, that slightly varies or nods the earth's precessional motion
- Bot. a slight rotatory movement, as in the stem of a plant, due to the varying rates of growth in its parts
Origin of nutationClassical Latin nutatio from nutare, to nod: see nutant
- The act or an instance of nodding the head.
- A wobble in a spinning gyroscope or other rotating body.
- Astronomy A small periodic irregularity in the precessional motion of the earth's polar axis with respect to the pole of the ecliptic.
- Botany A slight curving or circular movement in a stem, as of a twining plant, caused by variation in growth rates of different parts.
Origin of nutationLatin nūtātiō nūtātiōn- from nūtātus past participle of nūtāre frequentative of -nuere to nod
- (physics) a bobbing motion that accompanies the precession of a spinning rigid body
- a nodding motion (of the head etc.)
- (astronomy) any of several irregularities in the precession of the equinoxes caused by varying torque applied to the Earth by the Sun and the Moon
- (botany) the circular motion of the tip of a growing shoot
First attested in 1610s. Derived from Latin nutatio, from nÅ«tÅ (“I nod").