Definition of perigee in English:



  • The point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is nearest to the earth.

    The opposite of apogee
    • ‘The most favourable conditions for a total eclipse are when the Moon is at its perigee, Earth is farthest from the Sun (around July) and when the Sun is observed near zenith.’
    • ‘Whereas the synodic period is 29.53 days, it takes 27.5 days for the moon to move in its elliptical orbit from perigee to perigee.’
    • ‘Its low perigee meant that the orbit would degrade rapidly due to atmospheric friction.’
    • ‘But the orbit is elliptical, and when the Moon is near perigee (closest to Earth), it moves along its orbit more swiftly than it does when it is near apogee (farthest from Earth).’
    • ‘Contrasting full moons seen near perigee and apogee indicate how much the apparent size of the Moon varies each month.’


Late 16th century: from French périgée, via modern Latin from Greek perigeion ‘close round the earth’, from peri- ‘around’ + gē ‘earth’.