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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Apsis


AP'SIS, noun plu apsides. [Gr. connection, from to connect.]

1. In astronomy, the apsides are the two points of a planet's orbit, which are at the greatest and least distance from the sun or earth; the most distant point is the aphelion, or apogee; the least distant, the perihelion or perigee. The line connecting these is called the line of the apsides.

2. apsis or absis is the arched roof of a house, room or oven; also the ring or compass of a wheel.

3. In ecclesiastical writers, an inner part of a church, where the altar was placed, and where the clergy sat, answering to the choir and standing opposite to the nave. Also, the bishop's seat or throne in ancient churches; called also exedra and tribune. This same name was given to a reliquary or case in which the relics of saints were kept.