# eccentricity

(redirected from eccentricities)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

## eccentricity,

in astronomy: see orbitorbit,
in astronomy, path in space described by a body revolving about a second body where the motion of the orbiting bodies is dominated by their mutual gravitational attraction.
.
Eccentricity

## eccentricity

Symbol: e . A measure of the extent to which an elliptical orbit departs from circularity. It is given by the ratio c /2a where c is the distance between the focal points of the ellipse and 2a is the length of the major axis. For a circular orbit e = 0. The planets and most of their satellites have an eccentricity range of 0–0.25 (see table). Many comets and some of the asteroids and planetary satellites have very eccentric orbits. The eccentricity of an orbit varies over a long period due to changing gravitational effects: that of the Earth's orbit varies between about 0.005 to 0.06 in a period of about 100 000 years. See also conic sections.

## Eccentricity

in a conic section, a number equal to the ratio of a point’s distance from the focus to its distance from a directrix. The eccentricity characterizes the shape of a conic section. For example, two conic sections that have the same eccentricity are similar. The eccentricity of an ellipse is less than unity, that of a hyperbola is greater than unity, and that of a parabola is equal to unity. For the ellipse and hyperbola, the eccentricity may be defined as the ratio of the distances between the foci to the longer or real axis.

## eccentricity

[‚ek·sən′tris·əd·ē]
(mathematics)
The ratio of the distance of a point on a conic from the focus to the distance from the directrix.
(mechanics)
The distance of the geometric center of a revolving body from the axis of rotation.

## Eccentricity

weird family, presented in grotesque domesticity. [TV: Terrace, I, 29]
Boynton, Nanny
travels with set of Encyclopaedia Britannica to settle disputes. [Am. Lit.: “Percy” in Stories, 634–644]
Dick, Mr.
odd but harmless old gentleman. [Br. Lit.: David Copperfield]
Doolittle, Doctor
veterinarian who talks to animals. [Children’s Lit.: Dr. Doolittle]
Flite, Miss
“ancient” ward in Chancery. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House]
Great-Aunt Dymphna
outlandish dresser who pointedly doesn’t eat meat. [Children’s Lit.: The Growing Summer, Fisher 124–127]
Havisham, Miss
jilted bride turns into witchlike old woman. [Br. Lit.: Great Expectations]
Longstocking, Pippi
outrageous, rebellious, imaginative child. [Children’s Lit.: Pippi Longstocking]
individualist; only girl “out of line.” [Children’s Lit.: Madeline, Fisher, 196]
delightfully pixilated old woman manages to exploit the Parisian exploiters. [Fr. Lit.: The Madwoman of Chaillot, Benét, 618]
Pickwick, Mr. (Samuel)
jolly “conformist” who understands anything but the obvious. [Br. Lit.: Pickwick Papers]
Poppins, Mary
English nanny who practises levitation, flies up chimneys, etc. [Children’s Lit.: Mary Poppins, Fisher, 218]
Salus, St. Simeon
behaved queerly to share outcasts’ contempt. [Christian Hagiog.: Attwater, 311]

## eccentricity

1. deviation from a circular path or orbit
2. a measure of the noncircularity of an elliptical orbit, the distance between the foci divided by the length of the major axis
3. Geometry a number that expresses the shape of a conic section: the ratio of the distance of a point on the curve from a fixed point (the focus) to the distance of the point from a fixed line (the directrix)
4. the degree of displacement of the geometric centre of a rotating part from the true centre, esp of the axis of rotation of a wheel or shaft
References in classic literature ?
One of his most striking eccentricities is the remarkable style which he deliberately invented for 'Sartor Resartus' and used thenceforth in all his writings (though not always in so extreme a form).
I am speaking of comparative strangers, people who are forced to stay a certain time by the eccentricities of trains, and in whose presence you grope about after common interests and shrink back into your shell on finding that you have none.
For many centuries there had never been a decent lord in Glengyle Castle; and with the Victorian era one would have thought that all eccentricities were exhausted.
I have certainly observed - eccentricities," Hamel assented.
O'Dowd had a cock's plume in her hat, and a very large "repayther" on her stomach, which she used to ring on all occasions, narrating how it had been presented to her by her fawther, as she stipt into the car'ge after her mar'ge; and these ornaments, with other outward peculiarities of the Major's wife, gave excruciating agonies to Captain Osborne, when his wife and the Major's came in contact; whereas Amelia was only amused by the honest lady's eccentricities, and not in the least ashamed of her company.
I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle and may regulate a thousand celestial observations that require only this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent forever.
I have cited this, rather as an instance of the preacher's eccentricities than his merits, though taken in connection with his look and manner, and the character of his audience, even this was striking.
This candid declaration tended rather to increase than restrain Mr Quilp's eccentricities, and Richard Swiveller, astonished to see him in such a roystering vein, and drinking not a little himself, for company--began imperceptibly to become more companionable and confiding, so that, being judiciously led on by Mr Quilp, he grew at last very confiding indeed.
Moreau'' is a mess, a movie in search of script that opts for grand eccentricities and gruesome special effects when what it needs is a plot and some decent dialogue.
Goldstein's eccentricities,'' said Deputy District Attorney Matt Kraut.
Malkovich makes the movie interesting, simply because his choices are so surprising, but his fey, intellectual tics and eccentricities seem unlikely in a military general.
Wraparound and intermission sequences explain a mad scientist's (Trace Beaulieu) plan for world conquest through torturous entertainment and showcase the eccentricities of Nelson and his mechanical companions.

Site: Follow: Share:
Open / Close