Definition of orrery in English:


nounplural noun orrereries

  • A mechanical model of the solar system, or of just the sun, earth, and moon, used to represent their relative positions and motions.

    ‘The discs could be set to the current configuration of planets to act as a crude orrery.’
    • ‘An orrery shows all the planets and their positions, sometimes not to scale, around the sun.’
    • ‘The orrery in the corner steadily creaks out the minutes of the day, its rods and disks spinning the tiny planets, suns, and moons over and around the world.’
    • ‘To me the shape is more like an orrery, a clockwork model of the solar system.’
    • ‘Such an accurate model is called an orrery.’
    • ‘The orrery was ideal for displaying the Copernican model of the planets in our Solar System, but, like the Gottorp globe, it failed to provide an integrated view of the universe.’
    • ‘A choir and instrumentalists from local community groups then performed a musical spectacular as an orrery - a mechanical model of the planet - was unveiled with the help of a crane.’
    • ‘The orchestration titled ‘28 moons’ is a complex arrangement reminiscent of an orrery, the model of the solar system that many planetariums display.’
    • ‘Plato describes the soul as composed of two circles with contrary motions, which imitate the contrary motions of the fixed stars and the planets, so that the soul becomes a sort of orrery in the head.’
    • ‘Nathaniel Bailey's folio Dictionarium Britannicum is in the same tradition but with a new emphasis on scientific and industrial matters: for example, with a page on orrery, and 17 items on the metal lead.’
    • ‘The business eventually diversified into much more lucrative catalogues of ‘Mathematical Apparatus’, which included everything from finely-crafted orreries and tellurians to the latest in elegant ‘Pointing Rods’.’
    • ‘Grappling with a wonderful assortment of objects - from antique orreries to modern spectrographs - Davis Baird draws the reader deep into fascinating questions about the nature of knowledge.’
    • ‘This wonderful program is a solar system simulator, a digital orrery (Marcel's Collins defines it as a " mechanical model of the solar system in which the planets can be moved at the correct relative velocities around the sun ’).’



/ˈôrərē/ /ˈɔrəri/


Early 18th century named after the fourth Earl of Orrery, for whom one was made.