- 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.
Origin of geodesic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for geodesic
Historical Examples of geodesic
The world line of a ray of light is a geodesic in the continuum.
His experiments on the pendulum and Geodesic surveys rendered him famous.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology
- Also: geodetic, geodesical relating to or involving the geometry of curved surfaces
- 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
Word Origin and History for geodesic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.
- 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.