The term is used in the following passage from this article:

A lot of lives came into my orbit when I was a server, drawing me in at moments that were joyous, sorrowful, nerve-wracking and all the more delightful or harrowing for occurring so publicly.

Does orbit here means definition #2 from Dictionary.com?:

2. the usual course of one's life or range of one's activities.

2 Answers 2


I have to disagree with the other answer and say Yes; this is a slightly fancier way of saying that he interacted with a lot of people, that their lives touched upon his and caused him to share in many emotional moments.

There is absolutely no sense of "eyeball" involved in this metaphor, only planetary motion.

  • +1 I'm with ya on this one. Especially as a server where their "orbit" consists of circling from table to table, to kitchen, to server station and around again.
    – Jim
    Mar 5, 2014 at 4:04

Does orbit here means definition #2 from Dictionary.com?:

No, I don't think so. I believe that the passage is referring to that he/she saw those lives going through his/her eyes (of course this is a metaphor). I say this according to the first definition of orbit in he Merriam-Webster dictionary:

the bony socket of the eye

Here's the definition: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orbit

  • Interesting. I would have guessed the other definition, but the fact that both definitions fit to some extent suggest the writer may be deliberately employing a pun. The author could have said into my circle, or into my view, but, by using into my orbit, both can be said at the same time.
    – J.R.
    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:29
  • I would lay dollars to donut-holes (given the rising prices of donuts these days) that the author gave no thought whatsoever to the "eyesocket" definition of orbit...
    – Hellion
    Mar 5, 2014 at 4:55

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