[ az-uh-muh th ]
/ ˈæz ə məθ /


Astronomy, Navigation. the arc of the horizon measured clockwise from the south point, in astronomy, or from the north point, in navigation, to the point where a vertical circle through a given heavenly body intersects the horizon.
Surveying, Gunnery. the angle of horizontal deviation, measured clockwise, of a bearing from a standard direction, as from north or south.

Nearby words

  1. azido,
  2. azido group,
  3. azidothymidine,
  4. azikiwe,
  5. azilian,
  6. azimuth bar,
  7. azimuth circle,
  8. azimuthal equidistant projection,
  9. azimuthal projection,
  10. azimuthal quantum number

Origin of azimuth

1350–1400; Middle English azimut < Middle FrenchArabic as sumūt the ways (i.e., directions)

Related formsaz·i·muth·al [az-uh-muhth-uh l] /ˌæz əˈmʌθ əl/, adjectiveaz·i·muth·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for azimuth

British Dictionary definitions for azimuth


/ (ˈæzɪməθ) /


astronomy nautical the angular distance usually measured clockwise from the north point of the horizon to the intersection with the horizon of the vertical circle passing through a celestial bodyCompare altitude (def. 3)
surveying the horizontal angle of a bearing clockwise from a standard direction, such as north
Derived Formsazimuthal (ˌæzɪˈmʌθəl), adjectiveazimuthally, adverb

Word Origin for azimuth

C14: from Old French azimut, from Arabic as-sumūt, plural of as-samt the path, from Latin semita path

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

Word Origin and History for azimuth



"distance of a star from the north or south point of the meridian," late 14c., from Old French azimut, from Arabic as-sumut "the ways," plural of as-samt "the way, direction" (see zenith).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for azimuth


[ ăzə-məth ]

The position of a celestial object along an observer's horizon. Azimuth is a horizontal angle measured clockwise in degrees from a reference direction, usually the north or south point of the horizon, to the point on the horizon intersected by the object's line of altitude (a line from the observer's zenith through the object to the horizon). If north is the reference point (0°), then east has an azimuth of 90°, south is 180°, and so forth through 360°. See more at altazimuth coordinate system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.