Definition of Ptolemaic system in English:

Ptolemaic system

(also Ptolemaic theory)


  • The theory that the earth is the stationary centre of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres.

    Compare with Copernican system
    • ‘These phases revealed that Venus and Earth were sometimes on opposite sides of the Sun, a configuration impossible in the Ptolemaic theory.’
    • ‘The Ptolemaic theory of all the planets encircling the earth could now be disproved once and for all.’
    • ‘Suppose I decide that I believe the Ptolemaic system is more plausible than the Copernican system.’
    • ‘The Ptolemaic system had been denied by many high officials and Jesuit astronomers even before Galileo was born.’
    • ‘For many centuries, astronomers embraced the Ptolemaic theory: the Sun revolves around Earth.’


Ptolemaic system