• IPA: /ɪˈklɪps/, /iˈklɪps/


  1. (astronomy) An alignment of astronomical objects whereby one object comes between the observer (or notional observer) and another object, thus obscuring the latter.
  2. Especially, an alignment whereby a planetary object (for example, the Moon) comes between the Sun and another planetary object (for example, the Earth), resulting in a shadow being cast by the middle planetary object onto the other planetary object.
  3. (ornithology) A seasonal state of plumage in some birds, notably ducks, adopted temporarily after the breeding season and characterised by a dull and scruffy appearance.
  4. obscurity#Noun|Obscurity, decline, downfall
    • ante 1618 Walter Raleigh, quoted in Eclipse, entry in 1805, Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, Volume 2, unnumbered page ↗,
      All the posterity of our first parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life.
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, 1839, The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, page 340 ↗,
      As in the soft and sweet eclipse, / When soul meets soul on lovers' lips.
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, A House is Built, Chapter VIII, Section ii
      Nor were the wool prospects much better. The pastoral#Adjective|pastoral industry, which had weathered the severe depression of the early forties by recourse#Noun|recourse to boiling down the sheep for their tallow#Noun|tallow, and was now firmly re-established as the staple#Adjective|staple industry of the colony, was threatened once more with eclipse.
    • 1943, Fredric Brown, "The Geezenstacks"
      Aubrey was rapturous. All her other playthings went into eclipse and the doings of the Geezenstacks occupied most of her waking thoughts.
Related terms Translations Verb

eclipse (eclipses, present participle eclipsing; past and past participle eclipsed)

  1. (transitive) Of astronomical bodies, to cause an eclipse.
    The Moon eclipsed the Sun.
  2. (transitive, figurative) To overshadow; to be better or more noticeable than.
    • circa 1591 William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3, Act 4, Scene 6, 1869, George Long Duyckinck (editor), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, page 502 ↗,
      For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear / My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
    • 2005, Sean Campbell, Introducing Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 for developers (page 56)
      The Util.System namespace eclipses the top-level System namespace.
    • 2007, Cincinnati Magazine (page 81)
      Everything about her year-old restaurant […] reflects her love of bringing people to the table for good, simple food that's not eclipsed by bells and whistles.
  3. (Irish grammar) To undergo eclipsis.
Translations Translations

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