Eclipse


Eclipse
Eclipse E*clipse" ([-e]*kl[i^]ps"), n. [F. ['e]clipse, L. eclipsis, fr. Gr. 'e`kleipsis, prop., a forsaking, failing, fr. 'eklei`pein to leave out, forsake; 'ek out + lei`pein to leave. See {Ex-}, and {Loan}.] 1. (Astron.) An interception or obscuration of the light of the sun, moon, or other luminous body, by the intervention of some other body, either between it and the eye, or between the luminous body and that illuminated by it. A lunar eclipse is caused by the moon passing through the earth's shadow; a solar eclipse, by the moon coming between the sun and the observer. A satellite is eclipsed by entering the shadow of its primary. The obscuration of a planet or star by the moon or a planet, though of the nature of an eclipse, is called an {occultation}. The eclipse of a small portion of the sun by Mercury or Venus is called a {transit} of the planet. [1913 Webster]

Note: In ancient times, eclipses were, and among unenlightened people they still are, superstitiously regarded as forerunners of evil fortune, a sentiment of which occasional use is made in literature. [1913 Webster]

That fatal and perfidious bark, Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. The loss, usually temporary or partial, of light, brilliancy, luster, honor, consciousness, etc.; obscuration; gloom; darkness. [1913 Webster]

All the posterity of our fist parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

As in the soft and sweet eclipse, When soul meets soul on lovers' lips. --Shelley. [1913 Webster]

{Annular eclipse}. (Astron.) See under {Annular}.

{Cycle of eclipses}. See under {Cycle}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms: