One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of the moon) having the observable illuminated part greater than a semicircle and less than a circle.
- ‘The year is on the wane, has passed its gibbous phase and is now into that delicate fingernail-clipping shape that children draw in pictures to denote the moon.’
- ‘My hand was clasped around hers, and the light of the gibbous moon set a silver path out before us.’
- ‘The waxing gibbous moon was still behind the scudding clouds, but it was far from pitch dark.’
- ‘The moon is gibbous and yellow down at the end of the main street.’
- ‘On the 16th Jupiter appears to the upper left of the waxing gibbous Moon.’
- 1.1 Convex or protuberant.‘gibbous eyes’
- ‘The male hooded merganser, with his distinct gibbous moon crest, demands immediate attention.’
Late Middle English: from late Latin gibbosus, from Latin gibbus ‘hump’.
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