See also: Comet

English edit

The comet Hale–Bopp in the night sky.
Cometary symbol

Etymology edit

From Middle English comete, partly from Old English comēta and partly from Old French comete, both from Latin comētēs, from Ancient Greek κομήτης (komḗtēs, longhaired), short for ἀστὴρ κομήτης ([astēr] komētēs, "longhaired [star])" and referring to the tail of a comet, from κόμη (kómē, hair). Compare English faxed star.

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: kŏm'ət, IPA(key): /ˈkɒmət/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒmɪt

Noun edit

comet (plural comets)

  1. (astronomy) A small Solar System body consisting mainly of volatile ice, dust and particles of rock whose very eccentric solar orbit periodically brings it close enough to the Sun that the ice vaporises to form an atmosphere, or coma, which may be blown by the solar wind to produce a visible tail.
    • 1905, Lord Dunsany [i.e., Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany], The Gods of Pegāna, London: [Charles] Elkin Mathews, [], →OCLC:
      And They made by the lifting of Their hands, each god according to his sign, the Bright One with the flaring tail to seek from the end of the Worlds to the end of them again, to return again after a hundred years. Man, when thou seest the comet, know that another seeketh besides thee nor ever findeth out.
  2. A celestial phenomenon with the appearance of such a body.
  3. Any of several species of hummingbird found in the Andes.

Usage notes edit

A comet whose volatile ices have completely evaporated is said to be dead or extinct.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Malay: komet
  • Urdu: کومٹ (komeṭ)
  • Welsh: comed

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Catalan edit

Verb edit


  1. inflection of cometre:
    1. third-person singular present indicative
    2. second-person singular imperative

Latin edit

Verb edit


  1. third-person singular future active indicative of cōmō

Romanian edit

Noun edit

comet n (plural comete)

  1. Alternative form of cometă

Declension edit