[ lon-ji-tood, -tyood ]
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  1. Geography. angular distance east or west on the earth's surface, measured by the angle contained between the meridian of a particular place and some prime meridian, as that of Greenwich, England, and expressed either in degrees or by some corresponding difference in time.

  2. Astronomy.

Origin of longitude

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin longitūdō length. See longi-, -tude

Words that may be confused with longitude

Words Nearby longitude

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How to use longitude in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for longitude


/ (ˈlɒndʒɪˌtjuːd, ˈlɒŋɡ-) /

  1. distance in degrees east or west of the prime meridian at 0° measured by the angle between the plane of the prime meridian and that of the meridian through the point in question, or by the corresponding time difference: See latitude (def. 1)

  2. astronomy short for celestial longitude

Origin of longitude

C14: from Latin longitūdō length, from longus long 1

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 longitude


[ lŏnjĭ-tōōd′ ]

  1. A measure of relative position east or west on the Earth's surface, given in degrees from a certain meridian, usually the prime meridian at Greenwich, England, which has a longitude of 0°. The distance of a degree of longitude is about 69 statute miles or 60 nautical miles (111 km) at the equator, decreasing to zero at the poles. Longitude and latitude are the coordinates used to identify any point on the Earth's surface. Compare latitude.

  2. Celestial longitude.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for longitude


[ (lon-juh-toohd) ]

A measurement, in degrees, of a place's distance east or west of the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England. (Compare latitude.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.