apogee (n.)

"point at which the moon is farthest from the earth," 1590s, from French apogée or directly from Latin apogaeum, from Greek apogaion (diastema) "(distance) away from the earth," from apogaion, neuter adjective, "from land," here in a specialized sense "away from the earth," from apo "off, away" (see apo-) + gaia/ge "earth" (see Gaia).

Figurative sense "climax, culmination" is from 1640s. A term from Ptolemaic astronomy, which regarded the earth as the center of the universe and applied the word to the sun and planets; for these bodies it was displaced in the Copernican system by aphelion. Adjective forms are apogeal, apogean, apogeic.

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