geodesic

[ jee-uh-des-ik, -dee-sik ]
/ ˌdʒi əˈdɛs ɪk, -ˈdi sɪk /

adjective

Also ge·o·des·i·cal. pertaining to the geometry of curved surfaces, in which geodesic lines take the place of the straight lines of plane geometry.

noun

QUIZZES

Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of geodesic

From the French word géodésique, dating back to 1815–25. See geodesy, -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for geodesic

British Dictionary definitions for geodesic

geodesic
/ (ˌdʒiːəʊˈdɛsɪk, -ˈdiː-) /

adjective

Also: geodetic, geodesical relating to or involving the geometry of curved surfaces

noun

Also called: geodesic line the shortest line between two points on a curved or plane surface
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 geodesic

geodesic
[ jē′ə-dĕsĭk, -dēsĭk ]

Noun

A curve that locally minimizes the distance between two points on any mathematically defined space, such as a curved manifold. Equivalently, it is a path of minimal curvature. In noncurved three-dimensional space, the geodesic is a straight line. In General Relativity, the trajectory of a body with negligible mass on which only gravitational forces are acting (i.e. a free falling body) is a geodesic in (curved) 4-dimensional space-time.

Adjective

Of or relating to the branch of geometry that deals with geodesics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.