rhumb line


noun

a curve on the surface of a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle. It is the path taken by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a constant compass direction.

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Also called loxodrome, rhumb.

Origin of rhumb line

First recorded in 1660–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for rhumb line

rhumb line

noun

an imaginary line on the surface of a sphere, such as the earth, that intersects all meridians at the same angle
the course navigated by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a uniform compass heading
Often shortened to: rhumb

Word Origin for rhumb line

C16: from Old Spanish rumbo, apparently from Middle Dutch ruum space, ship's hold, but also influenced by Latin rhombus
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