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pre·ces·sion  (pr-sshn)
1. The act or state of preceding; precedence.
2. Physics 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.
3. Astronomy
a. Precession of the equinoxes.
b. A slow gyration of the earth's axis around the pole of the ecliptic, caused mainly by the gravitational pull of the sun, moon, and other planets on the earth's equatorial bulge.

[Late Latin praecessi, praecessin-, from Latin praecessus, past participle of praecdere, to go before; see precede.]

pre·cession·al adj.

precession (prɪˈsɛʃən)
1. the act of preceding
2. (Astronomy) See precession of the equinoxes
3. (General Physics) the motion of a spinning body, such as a top, gyroscope, or planet, in which it wobbles so that the axis of rotation sweeps out a cone
[C16: from Late Latin praecessiō a going in advance, from Latin praecēdere to precede]
preˈcessional adj preˈcessionally adv
pre•ces•sion (priˈsɛʃ ən)

1. the act or fact of preceding; precedence.
2. the movement of the axis of rotation of a spinning body around another axis, outside the body and at an angle to it: an effect exhibited by a spinning top or gyroscope.
3. the slow, conical motion of the earth's axis of rotation caused by forces exerted on the earth by the sun and moon and responsible for the precession of the equinoxes.
[1300–50; < Late Latin praecessiō a going before, advance, derivative (with -tiō -tion) of praecēdere to precede]
pre•ces′sion•al, adj.

precession  (pr-sshn)
1. 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.
2. 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. 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. See also nutation.

See: apparent precession.
Thesaurus Legend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun1.precession - the motion of a spinning body (as a top) in which it wobbles so that the axis of rotation sweeps out a cone
motion - a state of change; "they were in a state of steady motion"
2.precession - the act of preceding in time or order or rank (as in a ceremony)
activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"
nPräzession f; precession of the equinoxes (Astron) → Präzession fder Äquinoktien

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Another finds that the phenomena of precession and nutation require that the earth, if not entirely solid, must at least have a shell not less than eight hundred to a thousand miles in thickness.
He was a stern, gaunt man, with a harsh voice, and an aggressive manner, but he had the merit of knowing how to assimilate the ideas of other men, and to pass them on in a way which was intelligible and even interesting to the lay public, with a happy knack of being funny about the most unlikely objects, so that the precession of the Equinox or the formation of a vertebrate became a highly humorous process as treated by him.
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