[ jee-uh-des-ik, -dee-sik ]

  1. 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

From the French word géodésique, dating back to 1815–25. See geodesy, -ic

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

How to use geodesic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for geodesic


/ (ˌdʒiːəʊˈdɛsɪk, -ˈdiː-) /

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

  1. 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


[ jē′ə-dĕsĭk, -dēsĭk ]

  1. 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.

  1. 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.