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rhumb line

a curve on the surface of a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle. It is the path taken by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a constant compass direction.
Also called loxodrome, rhumb.
Origin of rhumb line
First recorded in 1660-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rhumb line
Historical Examples
  • rhumb line, a circle on the earth's surface making a given angle with the meridian; applied to the course of a ship in navigation.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood
British Dictionary definitions for rhumb line

rhumb line

an imaginary line on the surface of a sphere, such as the earth, that intersects all meridians at the same angle
the course navigated by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a uniform compass heading
Often shortened to rhumb
Word Origin
C16: from Old Spanish rumbo, apparently from Middle Dutch ruum space, ship's hold, but also influenced by Latin rhombus
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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