# radius vector

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

## radius vector

*n.*

**1.**

*Mathematics*

**a.**A line segment that joins the origin and a variable point in a system of polar or spherical coordinates.

**b.**The length of such a line segment.

**2.**

*Astronomy*A straight line connecting the center of mass of a satellite, such as a planet, moon, or comet, to the center of mass of the body it orbits, such as the sun or Earth. Also called

*position vector*.

## radius vector

*n*

**1.**(Mathematics)

*maths*a line joining a point in space to the origin of polar or spherical coordinates

**2.**(Astronomy)

*astronomy*an imaginary line joining a satellite to the planet or star around which it is orbiting

## ra′dius vec′tor

*n.*

*pl.*

**radii vec•to•res**(vɛkˈtɔr iz, -ˈtoʊr-)

**radius vectors.**

**1.**

*Math.*the length of the line segment joining a fixed point or origin to a given point.

**2.**

*Astron.*

**a.**the straight line joining two bodies in relative orbital motion, as the line from the sun to a planet at any point in its orbit.

**b.**the distance between two such bodies at any point in the orbit.

[1745–55]

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonyms

**Legend:**Switch to new thesaurus

Noun | 1. | radius vector - a line connecting a satellite to the center of the body around which it is rotatingvector - a variable quantity that can be resolved into components |

2. | radius vector - a line connecting a point in space to the origin of a polar coordinate systemvector - a variable quantity that can be resolved into components |

Want to thank TFD for its existence? Tell a friend about us, add a link to this page, or visit the webmaster's page for free fun content.

Link to this page: