Definition of gibbous
1a: marked by convexity or swelling
bof the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated
2: having a hump : HUMPBACKED
What It Means
Gibbous is most often used to describe a moon or planet that is seen with more than half, but not all, of the apparent disk illuminated.
// The lake’s calm surface glistened under the light of the waxing gibbous moon.
- lacking correspondence
- not proportionate
- not uniform
Did you know?
The adjective gibbous has its origins in the Latin noun gibbus, meaning “hump.” It was adopted into Middle English to describe rounded, convex things.
While it has been used to describe the rounded body parts of humans and animals (such as the back of a camel) and to describe the shape of certain flowers (such as snapdragons), the term is most often used to describe the moon: a gibbous moon is one that is between half full and full.
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