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[trahy-lat-uh-rey-shuh n] /traɪˈlæt əˈreɪ ʃən/
noun, Surveying
a method of determining the relative positions of three or more points by treating these points as vertices of a triangle or triangles of which the angles and sides can be measured.
Origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for trilateration
  • Mathematically speaking, the system uses trilateration.
  • To compute position, the system is based on satellite trilateration or triangulation.
  • Position information can be determined via triangulation or trilateration.
  • The primary control network can be measured as a trilateration network only.
  • The system of trilateration used to map the wrecks is discussed.
  • Proximity sensors with overlapping detection regions can be used to calculate position, using triangulation or trilateration.
  • The main site map, produced by baseline trilateration.
  • The use of low technology-high diving intensity procedures evolved here, including baseline mapping with trilateration.
British Dictionary definitions for trilateration


a method of surveying in which a whole area is divided into triangles, the sides of which are measured, usually by electromagnetic distance measuring for geodetic control or by chain survey for a detailed survey
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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Contemporary definitions for trilateration

a method of surveying in which triangle sides are measured, usually by electronic means; cf. triangulation

Word Origin

tri 'triangle' + latus 'side' + -ation's 21st Century Lexicon
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Encyclopedia Article for trilateration

method of surveying in which the lengths of the sides of a triangle are measured, usually by electronic means, and, from this information, angles are computed. By constructing a series of triangles adjacent to one another, a surveyor can obtain other distances and angles that would not otherwise be measurable. Formerly, trilateration was little used in comparison to triangulation, a method for determining two sides and an angle of a triangle from the length of one side and two angles, because of the difficulty of the computations involved. But the development of electronic distance-measuring devices has made trilateration a common and preferred system. Except that only lines are measured, while all angles are computed, the field procedures for trilateration are like those for triangulation.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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