a great circle of the earth passing through the poles and any given point on the earth's surface.
the half of such a circle included between the poles.
Astronomy. the great circle of the celestial sphere that passes through its poles and the observer's zenith.
a point or period of highest development, greatest prosperity, or the like.
(in acupuncture) any of the pathways in the body along which vital energy flows.
of or pertaining to a meridian.
of or pertaining to midday or noon: the meridian hour.
of or indicating a period of greatest prosperity, splendor, success, etc.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin merīdiānus of noon, equivalent to merīdi(ēs) midday (formed from the locative merīdiē at midday, by dissimilation < *medī diē; medius mid1, diēs day) + -ānus -an Unabridged


a city in E Mississippi. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
meridian (məˈrɪdɪən)
1.  a.  one of the imaginary lines joining the north and south poles at right angles to the equator, designated by degrees of longitude from 0° at Greenwich to 180°
 b.  See prime meridian the great circle running through both poles
2.  astronomy
 a.  the great circle on the celestial sphere passing through the north and south celestial poles and the zenith and nadir of the observer
 b.  (as modifier): a meridian instrument
3.  maths Also called: meridian section a section of a surface of revolution, such as a paraboloid, that contains the axis of revolution
4.  the peak; zenith: the meridian of his achievements
5.  (in acupuncture, etc) any of the channels through which vital energy is believed to circulate round the body
6.  obsolete noon
7.  along or relating to a meridian
8.  of or happening at noon
9.  relating to the peak of something
[C14: from Latin merīdiānus of midday, from merīdiēs midday, from mediusmid1 + diēs day]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1380, "noon," from O.Fr. meridien, from L. meridianus "of noon, southern," from meridies "noon, south," from meridie "at noon," altered by dissimilation from pre-L. *mediei die, loc. of medius "mid-" (see medial) + dies "day" (see diurnal).
Cartographic sense first recorded 1391. The city in Mississippi, U.S., was settled 1854 (as Sowashee Station) at a railway junction and given its current name in 1860, supposedly by people who thought meridian meant "junction" (they perhaps confused the word with median).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

meridian me·rid·i·an (mə-rĭd'ē-ən)

  1. An imaginary line encircling a globular body at right angles to its equator and passing through its poles.

  2. Either half of such a great circle from pole to pole.

  3. Any of the longitudinal lines or pathways on the body along which the acupuncture points are distributed.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
meridian   (mə-rĭd'ē-ən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An imaginary line forming a great circle that passes through the Earth's North and South geographic poles.

  2. Either half of such a circle from pole to pole. All the places on the same meridian have the same longitude. See illustration at longitude.

  3. See celestial meridian.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
meridian [(muh-rid-ee-uhn)]

A great imaginary circle on the surface of the Earth that runs north and south through the North Pole and South Pole. Longitude is measured on meridians: places on a meridian have the same longitude. (See prime meridian.)

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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Example sentences
Other longitude lines are sometimes referred to as meridians.
Even different parts of the same country published materials based on local
It may be more of a distraction effect than anything having to do with
Our logical thoughts dominate experience only as the parallels and meridians
  make a checkerboard of the sea.
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