Definition of Ptolemaic system in English:

Ptolemaic system

Pronunciation /ˈˌtɑləˈmeɪɪk ˈsɪstɪm/


(also Ptolemaic theory)
historical Astronomy
  • The theory that the earth is the stationary center of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres.

    Compare with Copernican system

    ‘For many centuries, astronomers embraced the Ptolemaic theory: the Sun revolves around Earth.’
    • ‘The Ptolemaic theory of all the planets encircling the earth could now be disproved once and for all.’
    • ‘Suppose I decide that I believe the Ptolemaic system is more plausible than the Copernican system.’
    • ‘The Ptolemaic system had been denied by many high officials and Jesuit astronomers even before Galileo was born.’
    • ‘These phases revealed that Venus and Earth were sometimes on opposite sides of the Sun, a configuration impossible in the Ptolemaic theory.’