One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A regular oval shape, traced by a point moving in a plane so that the sum of its distances from two other points (the foci) is constant, or resulting when a cone is cut by an oblique plane which does not intersect the base.
- ‘There are three non-degenerate conics: the ellipse, the parabola, and the hyperbola.’
- ‘But I could explain the discrepancy if the orbit were an ellipse rather than a circle.’
- ‘It was shaped a bit oblong, like an ellipse with a very large major axis, almost to the point of not being a cigar.’
- ‘Then it is shown that the displacement vector lies in a plane, and if the base point is translated to the origin, the endpoint traces out an ellipse.’
- ‘For example he shows how to deform a circle into an ellipse and proves other results on deforming conic sections.’
- ‘The rate at which a planet sweeps out area within its orbital ellipse is constant.’
- ‘He described the construction of an ellipse with a string fixed at the two foci.’
- ‘The first law states that the orbit of a satellite is an ellipse, and that one of the foci of the ellipse must be located at the centre of the Earth.’
- ‘Well, he discovered, in the elliptical function, that the Sun was located at one of the two foci of the relevant ellipse.’
- ‘An ellipse has two foci, i.e. two centres, unlike the circle that has just one.’
- ‘Additional liturgical areas are designed as concave spaces bulging the ellipse outwardly.’
- ‘In contrast, an oval or an ellipse is longer than it is wide.’
- ‘The orbit of the Earth is an ellipse, not a circle, so different quarters of the orbit take different lengths of time to complete.’
- ‘Here we examine this in detail, first looking at the case of a circular toroid deformed into an ellipse.’
- ‘An additional complication is that the Earth's orbit is not quite an exact circle, but an ellipse.’
- ‘The direction in which it spins, and the size and shape of the ellipse, give me information about the strength and quality of the energy in that area.’
- ‘Principal components of the matrix were calculated and used to orient the ellipse in the plane.’
- ‘To imagine their form, picture an ellipse levitating up from the floor, turning as it rises.’
- ‘If the optical component to be machined is a mirror, and the object to be imaged with that mirror is located at a finite distance, the shape will be an ellipse.’
- ‘Over the course of a year the changing position of the star traced out a small ellipse.’
Late 17th century: via French from Latin ellipsis (see ellipsis).
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