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elliptical

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From elliptic + -al.

Pronunciation

Adjective

elliptical (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
elliptical

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. In a shape reminding of an ellipse; oval.
    • 1876, Edward Roth (translator), All Around the Moon, Chapter XIX,
      Having admitted that the projectile was describing an orbit around the moon, this orbit must necessarily be elliptical; science proves that it must be so.
  2. Of, or showing ellipsis; having a word or words omitted.
    If he is sometimes elliptical and obscure, it is because he has so much to tell us. -- Edmund Wilson
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Concise, condensed.
    • 1903, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Robert Browning, Chapter VI,
      Browning's dark and elliptical mode of speech, like his love of the grotesque, was simply a characteristic of his, a trick of is temperament, and had little or nothing to do with whether what he was expressing was profound or superficial.
  4. (mathematics, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Of a function in which the sum of the squares of two variables is constant.

Usage notes

  • In botanical usage, elliptic(al) refers only to the general shape of the leaf, independently of its apex or margin (and sometimes the base), so that an "elliptic leaf" may very well be pointed at both ends.
  • The form elliptic is more usual in mathematics.

Translations

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