Precession meaning

prē-sĕsh'ən
The act or state of preceding; precedence.
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The motion of the axis of a spinning body, such as the wobble of a spinning top, when there is an external force acting on the axis.
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The act of preceding; precedence.
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An effect exhibited by a spinning body, as a top, when an applied torque tends to change the direction of its rotational axis, causing this axis generally to describe a cone and to turn at right angles to the direction of the torque.
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The rotational motion of the axis of a spinning body, such as the wobbling of a spinning top, caused by torque applied to the body along its axis of rotation.
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The motion of this kind made by the Earth's axis, caused mainly by the gravitational pull of the Sun, Moon, and other planets. The precession of Earth's axis has a period of nearly 25,800 years, during which time the reference points on the equatorial coordinate system (the celestial poles and celestial equator) will gradually shift their positions on the celestial sphere. &diamf3; The precession of the equinoxes is the slow westward shift of the autumnal and vernal equinoxes along the ecliptic, resulting from precession of the Earth's axis.
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(uncountable) Precedence.
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(physics, countable) The wobbling motion of the axis of a spinning body when there is an external force acting on the axis.
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(astronomy, uncountable) The slow gyration of the earth's axis around the pole of the ecliptic, caused mainly by the gravitational torque of the sun and moon.
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Any of several slow changes in an astronomical body's rotational or orbital parameters.
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Origin of precession

  • Late Latin praecessiō praecessiōn- from Latin praecessus past participle of praecēdere to go before precede
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition