[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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for geodesic

Historical Examples of geodesic

British Dictionary definitions for geodesic


  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

Word Origin and History for geodesic

1821, from geodesy "surveying" + -ic. Alternative adjective form geodetic is from 1834; geodetical is from c.1600. Geodesic dome attested from 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

geodesic in Science


[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.