- a circle on a spherical surface such that the plane containing the circle passes through the center of the sphere.Compare small circle.
- a circle of which a segment represents the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the earth.
Origin of great circle
Examples from the Web for great circle
Historical Examples of great circle
It is by no means improbable that Cabot, who was an expert navigator, knew that great-circle sailing gave the shorter course.In Northern Mists (Volume 2 of 2)
Our voyaging is only great-circle sailing, and the doctors prescribe for diseases of the skin merely.Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience
Henry David Thoreau
This is not great-circle sailing, and the ship so navigated does not take the shortest path.
- a circular section of a sphere that has a radius equal to that of the sphereCompare small circle
- A circle on the surface of a sphere whose plane passes through the center of the sphere. The Earth's equator is a great circle on the sphere of the globe.