[ az-uh-muhth ]

  1. 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.

  2. Surveying, Gunnery. the angle of horizontal deviation, measured clockwise, of a bearing from a standard direction, as from north or south.

Origin of azimuth

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

Other words from azimuth

  • az·i·muth·al [az-uh-muhth-uhl], /ˌæz əˈmʌθ əl/, adjective
  • az·i·muth·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use azimuth in a sentence

  • The deviation of a transit-instrument from the plane of the meridian at the horizon; it is also termed the azimuthal error.

    The Sailor's Word-Book | William Henry Smyth
  • I think, to the Azimuthal Arch of the Horizon included between the point of sunrise and that of sunset!

British Dictionary definitions for azimuth


/ (ˈæzɪməθ) /

  1. 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 body: Compare altitude (def. 3)

  2. surveying the horizontal angle of a bearing clockwise from a standard direction, such as north

Origin of azimuth

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

Derived forms of azimuth

  • azimuthal (ˌæzɪˈmʌθəl), adjective
  • azimuthally, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for azimuth


[ ăzə-məth ]

  1. 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.