circular error

Horology. loss of isochronism in a pendulum moving through circular arcs of different sizes: sometimes avoided by causing the pendulum to move through cycloidal arcs.
Military. error measured as the distance from the center of a target to the point of impact of a bomb or shell, or to the ground zero of an aerial burst.

1880–85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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