Skip to main content
Select Source:

zenith

zenith, in astronomy, the point in the sky directly overhead; more precisely, it is the point at which the celestial sphere is intersected by an upward extension of a plumb line from the observer's location. Its position in the sky thus depends on the direction of the earth's gravitational field at the observer's location. The zenith is a reference point in the altazimuth coordinate system; its altitude above the celestial horizon is 90°. The angular distance from the zenith to a celestial body is called the zenith distance. The nadir, directly opposite the zenith, has a zenith distance of 180°; the celestial horizon has a zenith distance of 90°.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zenith

"zenith." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zenith

zenith

ze·nith / ˈzēni[unvoicedth]/ • n. [in sing.] the highest point reached by a celestial or other object: the missile reached its zenith and fell. ∎  the point in the sky or celestial sphere directly above an observer.The opposite of nadir. ∎  the time at which something is most powerful or successful: under Justinian, the Byzantine Empire reached its zenith of influence. DERIVATIVES: ze·nith·al / -nə[unvoicedth]əl/ adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-2

"zenith." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-2

zenith

zenith the highest point reached by a celestial or other object; the point in the sky or celestial sphere directly above an observer; in figurative usage, the time at which something is most powerful or successful. Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes via Old French from medieval Latin cenit, based on Arabic samt (ar-ra's) ‘path (over the head)’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith

"zenith." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith

zenith

zenith point of the sky directly overhead, †point of the horizon at which a heavenly body rises XIV; highest point or state XVII. ME. cenyth, senith, cinit — OF. cenit (mod. zénith) or medL. cenit, obscurely — Arab. samt in samt ar-ra's ‘path over the head’ (samt way, al the, AL-2, ra's head).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-3

"zenith." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-3

zenith

zenith In astronomy, point on the celestial sphere that is directly overhead. The zenith distance of a heavenly body is the angle it makes with the zenith. It is diametrically opposite the nadir.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zenith

"zenith." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zenith

zenith

zenithmyth, outwith, pith, smith •twentieth • seventieth • eightieth •fiftieth • sixtieth • ninetieth •fortieth • thirtieth • Edith • Judith •Meredith • Griffith • Hesketh •tallith • Delyth • Lilith • megalith •monolith • blacksmith • Nasmyth •tinsmith • Ladysmith • locksmith •songsmith • goldsmith • gunsmith •coppersmith • silversmith •wordsmith •Kenneth, zenith •Gwyneth • Lapith • Hollerith •Asquith • Sopwith

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"zenith." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"zenith." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-1

"zenith." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-1

ZENITH

ZENITH (ˈzɛnɪɵ) Nuclear engineering zero-energy nitrogen-heated thermal reactor

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ZENITH." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ZENITH." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-0

"ZENITH." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/zenith-0