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horse latitudes

plural noun
1.
the latitudes, approximately 30° N and S, forming the edges of the trade-wind belt, characterized by high atmospheric pressure with calms and light variable winds.
Origin of horse latitudes
1765-1775
1765-75; probably as translation of Spanish golfo de las yeguas literally, mares' sea; explanation of the literal sense remains uncertain, despite numerous hypotheses
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for horse latitudes
Historical Examples
  • The trade winds in two belts on the equatorial sides of the horse latitudes heat up as they move toward the Equator.

    Deserts A. S. Walker
  • What is meant by "horse latitudes," and what was the origin of the name?

    Commercial Geography Jacques W. Redway
  • Are now in the "horse latitudes," but cannot complain; the trade has pushed us along bravely, and served us well.

    Kathay: A Cruise in the China Seas W. Hastings Macaulay
  • Surface winds known as “westerlies” flow from the horse latitudes toward the poles.

    Deserts A. S. Walker
  • The wind was gradually becoming lighter, and we knew we were nearing the doldrums, or horse latitudes.

  • Every condition was as if arranged for a special occasion, or to recompense us for the tedium of the horse latitudes.

  • These slow movements in the "horse latitudes" were not distasteful to me.

    Jack in the Forecastle John Sherburne Sleeper
British Dictionary definitions for horse latitudes

horse latitudes

plural noun
1.
(nautical) the latitudes near 30°N or 30°S at sea, characterized by baffling winds, calms, and high barometric pressure
Word Origin
C18: referring either to the high mortality of horses on board ship in these latitudes or to dead horse (nautical slang: advance pay), which sailors expected to work off by this stage of a voyage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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horse latitudes in Science
horse latitudes
  (hôrs)   
Either of two regions of the globe, found over the oceans about 30 degrees north and south of the equator, where winds are light and the weather is hot and dry. They are associated with high atmospheric pressure and with the large-scale descent of cool dry air that spreads either toward the equator, as the trade winds, or toward the poles, as the westerlies.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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