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[lon-ji-tood, -tyood] /ˈlɒn dʒɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
Geography. angular distance east or west on the earth's surface, measured by the angle contained between the meridian of a particular place and some prime meridian, as that of Greenwich, England, and expressed either in degrees or by some corresponding difference in time.
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin longitūdō length. See longi-, -tude
Can be confused
latitude, longitude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for longitude
  • Decimal time and longitude would then correlate directly without the need for logarithmic conversion tables.
  • Section of equator, two lines of longitude one on either side, one pole where the lines of longitude meet.
  • The second method has been around since the invention of the marine chronometer to determine longitude.
  • Comparatively few of those who habitually make use of longitude are familiar with its history.
British Dictionary definitions for longitude


/ˈlɒndʒɪˌtjuːd; ˈlɒŋɡ-/
distance in degrees east or west of the prime meridian at 0° measured by the angle between the plane of the prime meridian and that of the meridian through the point in question, or by the corresponding time difference See latitude (sense 1)
(astronomy) short for celestial longitude
Word Origin
C14: from Latin longitūdō length, from longuslong1
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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Word Origin and History for longitude

late 14c., "length," from Latin longitudo "length, duration," from longus (see long (adj.)). For origins, see latitude.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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longitude in Science

  1. A measure of relative position east or west on the Earth's surface, given in degrees from a certain meridian, usually the prime meridian at Greenwich, England, which has a longitude of 0°. The distance of a degree of longitude is about 69 statute miles or 60 nautical miles (111 km) at the equator, decreasing to zero at the poles. Longitude and latitude are the coordinates used to identify any point on the Earth's surface. Compare latitude.

  2. Celestial longitude.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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longitude in Culture
longitude [(lon-juh-toohd)]

A measurement, in degrees, of a place's distance east or west of the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. (Compare latitude.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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