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
First recorded in 1585–95
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for great circle
Historical Examples of great circle
British Dictionary definitions for great circle
a circular section of a sphere that has a radius equal to that of the sphereCompare small circle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.