Definition of "eclipse" [e•clipse]

  • The partial or complete obscuring, relative to a designated observer, of one celestial body by another. (noun)
  • The period of time during which such an obscuration occurs. (noun)
  • A temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light. (noun)
  • A fall into obscurity or disuse; a decline: "A composer . . . often goes into eclipse after his death and never regains popularity” ( Time). (noun)
  • A disgraceful or humiliating end; a downfall: Revelations of wrongdoing helped bring about the eclipse of the governor's career. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "eclipse" in a sentence
  • "The word 'eclipse' comes from the Greek word ékleipsis, or ekleíp (ein), which means to leave out, forsake, fail to appear"
  • "The word eclipse comes from the Greek for "abandonment," and captures the sense of foreboding the sun's vanishing act inspired even in civilizations whose astronomers had figured out why and when the darkness would fall."
  • "‡ The term eclipse is also used to refer to a general decline or temporary obscurity: “After taking the title last year, the team has gone into an eclipse this season."