Nutation meaning

no͝o-tāshən, nyo͝o-
The act or an instance of nodding the head.
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A wobble in a spinning gyroscope or other rotating body.
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A small periodic irregularity in the precessional motion of the earth's polar axis with respect to the pole of the ecliptic.
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A slight curving or circular movement in a stem, as of a twining plant, caused by variation in growth rates of different parts.
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The act or an instance of nodding the head, esp. when involuntary.
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A slight rotatory movement, as in the stem of a plant, due to the varying rates of growth in its parts.
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A small, cyclic variation of the Earth's axis of rotation with a period of 18.6 years, caused by tidal forces (mostly due to the gravity of the Moon). Nutation is a small and relatively rapid oscillation of the axis superimposed on the larger and much slower oscillation known as precession . Although discovered in 1728 by the British astronomer James Bradley (1693–1762), nutation was not explained until two decades later.
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A slight curving or circular movement in a stem, as of a twining plant, caused by irregular growth rates of different parts.
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(physics) A bobbing motion that accompanies the precession of a spinning rigid body.
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A nodding motion (of the head etc.)
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(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.
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(botany) The circular motion of the tip of a growing shoot.
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Origin of nutation

  • Latin nūtātiō nūtātiōn- from nūtātus past participle of nūtāre frequentative of -nuere to nod

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested in 1610s. Derived from Latin nutatio, from nÅ«tō (“I nod").

    From Wiktionary