geodesic

[jee-uh-des-ik, -dee-sik]
adjective
1.
Also, geodesical. pertaining to the geometry of curved surfaces, in which geodesic lines take the place of the straight lines of plane geometry.
noun

Origin:
1815–25; < French géodésique. See geodesy, -ic

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World English Dictionary
geodesic (ˌdʒiːəʊˈdɛsɪk, -ˈdiː-)
 
adj
1.  geodetic, Also: geodesical relating to or involving the geometry of curved surfaces
 
n
2.  Also called: geodesic line the shortest line between two points on a curved or plane surface

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

geodesic
1821, from geodesy "surveying" (1570), from Gk. geodaisia "division of the earth," ult. from ge "earth, land" + daiein "divide."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
geodesic   (jē'ə-děs'ĭk, -dē'sĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   A curve that locally minimizes the distance between two points on any mathematically defined space, such as a curved manifold. Equivalently, it is a path of minimal curvature. In noncurved three-dimensional space, the geodesic is a straight line. In General Relativity, the trajectory of a body with negligible mass on which only gravitational forces are acting (i.e. a free falling body) is a geodesic in (curved) 4-dimensional space-time.

Adjective   Of or relating to the branch of geometry that deals with geodesics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Guests sleep in geodesic domes that resemble igloos and are engineered to
  withstand the area's powerful winds.
Built inside a geodesic dome, it features desert dwellers from around the world.
Each rink would be covered with a geodesic dome, built by local prison inmates
  who would thus gain valuable job skills.
Connects input vertices with densified approximations to geodesic paths between
  them.
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