## ellipse

ellipse, closed plane curve consisting of all points for which the sum of the distances between a point on the curve and two fixed points (foci) is the same. It is the conic section formed by a plane cutting all the elements of the cone in the same nappe. The center of an ellipse is the point halfway between its foci. The major axis is the chord that passes through the foci. The minor axis is the chord that passes through the center perpendicular to the major axis. The latus rectum is the chord through either focus perpendicular to the major axis. The vertices are the two points of intersection of the major axis with the curve. The eccentricity of an ellipse, a ratio of two lengths, is a measure of its flatness; it is the distance from the center to either focus divided by the distance from the center to either vertex. The circle may be considered an ellipse of eccentricity zero, i.e., one in which the center and the two foci all coincide.

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## ellipse

ellipse Conic section formed by cutting a right circular cone with a plane inclined at such an angle that the plane does not intersect the base of the cone. When the intersecting plane is parallel to the base, the conic section is a circle. In rectangular Cartesian coordinates its standard equation is x2/a2 + y2/b2 = 1. Most planetary orbits are ellipses.

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## ellipse

el·lipse / iˈlips/ • n. a regular oval shape, traced by a point moving in a plane so that the sum of its distances from two other points (the foci) is constant, or resulting when a cone is cut by an oblique plane that does not intersect the base.

ellipse

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## ellipse

ellipse. Figure formed by section made by a plane passing obliquely through the axis of a regular cone. Unlike an oval, it is identical at each end, i.e. on both sides of its dividing axes. See also arch.

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## ellipse

ellipse XVIII. — F. — L. ell¯psis (see next).
Hence ellipsoid XVIII.

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## ellipse

ellipseapse, collapse, craps, elapse, lapse, perhaps, schnapps •prolapse • synapse • Lesseps •quadriceps •biceps, triceps •forceps •traipse, trapes •jackanapes • Pepys •Chips, eclipse, ellipse, thrips •Phillips • apocalypse •amidships, midships •cripes, Stars and Stripes •copse • Cheops • Pelops • Cyclops •triceratops • corpse • Stopes •oops, whoops •turps • mumps • goosebumps