Definition of Copernican system in English:

Copernican system

(also Copernican theory)

Pronunciation /kəˈpərnikən ˌsistəm/ /kəˈpərnɪkən ˌsɪstəm/


  • The theory that the sun is the center of the solar system, with the planets (including the earth) orbiting around it.

    ‘We are in the position of medieval astronomers who fear that if the Copernican theory of the solar system is true, ‘the earth’ as we have conceived it does not exist.’
    Compare with Ptolemaic system
    • ‘He also became an advocate of the controversial Copernican theory of the solar system, which he often defended in public debates.’
    • ‘Making the orbits elliptical made the Copernican system more accurate.’
    • ‘But also for the first time in print he came out clearly in favour of the Copernican system with the sun at the centre.’
    • ‘Suppose I decide that I believe the Ptolemaic system is more plausible than the Copernican system.’


Mid 17th century named after Copernicus (see Copernicus, Nicolaus).