dead reckoning

  1. calculation of one's position on the basis of distance run on various headings since the last precisely observed position, with as accurate allowance as possible being made for wind, currents, compass errors, etc.

  2. one's position as so calculated.

Origin of dead reckoning

First recorded in 1605–15

Words Nearby dead reckoning Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dead reckoning in a sentence

  • This is dead reckoning, as the theodolite legs have been out of action for some time, splinted together to form tent-props.

    The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
  • It is just in the single matter of keeping a ‘dead reckoning’ that an ocean ship has the advantage of this craft.

    With Airship and Submarine | Harry Collingwood
  • He ground his cud and muttered ugly things to himself, for his dead reckoning had gone astray and he was worried.

    Captain Scraggs | Peter B. Kyne
  • Navigation by account, or dead reckoning, has changed little since Kelly's time.

  • E 21 dived to 130 feet to pass under the minefield which guards the "narrows," and went through by compass and dead reckoning.

    The Story of Our Submarines | John Graham Bower

British Dictionary definitions for dead reckoning

dead reckoning

  1. a method of establishing one's position using the distance and direction travelled rather than astronomical observations

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