Origin of coordinate

First recorded in 1635–45; co- + (sub)ordinate
Related formsco·or·di·nate·ly, co-or·di·nate·ly, adverbco·or·di·nate·ness, co-or·di·nate·ness, nounco·or·di·na·tive, co-or·di·na·tive [koh-awr-dn-ey-tiv, -awr-dn-uh-] /koʊˈɔr dnˌeɪ tɪv, -ˈɔr dn ə-/, adjectivein·ter·co·or·di·nate, adjectivein·ter·co·or·di·nate, verb, in·ter·co·or·di·nat·ed, in·ter·co·or·di·nat·ing.mis·co·or·di·nate, verb, mis·co·or·di·nat·ed, mis·co·or·di·nat·ing.non·co·or·di·nat·ing, adjectiveun·co·or·di·nate, adjectiveun·co·or·di·nate·ly, adverbun·co·or·di·nate·ness, nounun·co·or·di·nat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for coordinate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coordinates

Contemporary Examples of coordinates

Historical Examples of coordinates

  • "The coordinates would not be intelligible to you," he said.

    Old Rambling House

    Frank Patrick Herbert

  • You do not know the coordinates of our world, or even in which galaxy it is located.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • You do not know the coordinates of this world, and have no way of finding them.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • The important point is, not that the embryo grows, but that it coordinates.

  • But nothing prohibited Alan from getting the coordinates, and so they gave them to him.

    Starman's Quest

    Robert Silverberg

British Dictionary definitions for coordinates


pl n

clothes of matching or harmonious colours and design, suitable for wearing togetherCompare separates



verb (kəʊˈɔːdɪˌneɪt)

(tr) to organize or integrate (diverse elements) in a harmonious operation
to place (things) in the same class or order, or (of things) to be placed in the same class or order
(intr) to work together, esp harmoniously
(intr) to take or be in the form of a harmonious order
chem to form or cause to form a coordinate bond

noun (kəʊˈɔːdɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

maths any of a set of numbers that defines the location of a point in spaceSee Cartesian coordinates, polar coordinates
a person or thing equal in rank, type, etc

adjective (kəʊˈɔːdɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

of, concerned with, or involving coordination
of the same rank, type, etc
of or involving the use of coordinatescoordinate geometry
See also coordinates
Derived Formscoordinately or co-ordinately, adverbcoordinateness or co-ordinateness, nouncoordinative or co-ordinative, adjectivecoordinator or co-ordinator, noun
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 coordinates



1640s, "of the same order," from Medieval Latin coordinatus, past participle of coordinare "to set in order, arrange" (see coordination). Meaning "involving coordination" is from 1769. Related: Coordinance.



1823, in the mathematical sense, especially with reference to the system invented by Descartes; from coordinate (adj.). Hence, coordinates as a means of determining a location on the earth's surface (especially for aircraft), attested by 1960.



1660s, "to place in the same rank," from Latin coordinare (see coordination). Meaning "to arrange in proper position" (transitive) is from 1847; that of "to work together in order" (intransitive) is from 1863. Related: Coordinated; coordinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coordinates in Science



One of a set of numbers that determines the position of a point. Only one coordinate is needed if the point is on a line, two if the point is in a plane, and three if it is in space.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

coordinates in Culture


A set of numbers, or a single number, that locates a point on a line, on a plane, or in space. If the point is known to be on a given line, only one number is needed to locate it. If the point is known to be on a given plane, two numbers are needed. If the point is known to be located in space, three numbers are needed.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.