• synonyms


  1. the branch of applied mathematics that deals with the measurement of the shape and area of large tracts of country, the exact position of geographical points, and the curvature, shape, and dimensions of the earth.
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Also ge·o·det·ics [jee-uh-det-iks] /ˌdʒi əˈdɛt ɪks/.

Origin of geodesy

1560–70; < French géodésie < Greek geōdaisía, equivalent to geō- geo- + daí(ein) to divide + -sia, variant of -ia -ia (generalized from stems ending in t)
Related formsge·od·e·sist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for geodesy

Historical Examples of geodesy

  • Geodesy of right lines is two fold; of one distance, or of two.

    The Way To Geometry

    Peter Ramus

  • The first geodesy or manner of measuring of heighths is thus.

  • And this is the geodesy or manner of measuring of an Icosaedrum.

  • Professor Woodward has published many papers on subjects in astronomy, geodesy, mathematics and mechanics.

  • That in civil engineering affords continuous field practice in geodesy and hydraulics during about a month.

British Dictionary definitions for geodesy


geodetics (ˌdʒiːəʊˈdɛtɪks)

  1. the branch of science concerned with determining the exact position of geographical points and the shape and size of the earth
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Derived Formsgeodesist, noun

Word Origin for geodesy

C16: from French géodésie, from Greek geōdaisia, from geo- + daiein to divide
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 geodesy


1560s, "surveying," from Modern Latin geodaesia, from Greek geodaisia "division of the earth;" ultimately from ge "earth" (see Gaia) + stem of daiein "divide."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

geodesy in Science


  1. The scientific study of the size and shape of the Earth, its field of gravity, and such varying phenomena as the motion of the magnetic poles and the tides.
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Related formsgeodetic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.