Definition of equator in English:



  • 1A line notionally drawn on the earth equidistant from the poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres and constituting the parallel of latitude 0°.

    • ‘It is a fact of geography that near the equator, the earth receives more energy from the sun.’
    • ‘The latitudinal studies involve seasonality near the equator and in each hemisphere.’
    • ‘Here the zero lines of longitude and latitude - the Greenwich meridian and the equator - bisect.’
    • ‘The village lay a few latitudes above the equator and was now enjoying what the northerners might call a mild winter but for southerners, it was simply the rainy season.’
    • ‘The invisible lines of magnetic force on which our compasses rely are parallel to the surface of the Earth only near the equator, becoming ever more vertical as we approach the magnetic poles.’
    • ‘UV intensity falls as one moves from the equator toward Earth's poles, increasing latitude.’
    • ‘We are halfway between the equator and the south pole.’
    • ‘In fact several inversions have been found to form clines with higher frequencies at low latitudes near the equator.’
    • ‘However, I do not refuse certificates distributed in airplanes that attest that I've crossed the equator, the North Pole and the Arctic Circle.’
    • ‘The further you go away from temperate latitudes towards the equator, the fewer changes you see in the day to day weather throughout the year.’
    • ‘As you move away from the equator and toward the poles, the longitude lines get closer together, creating a nonhomogeneous globe.’
    • ‘The Sun crosses the projection of Earth's equator on the sky and passes into the Southern Hemisphere.’
    • ‘Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and spans both sides of the equator, making it both a northern and a southern hemisphere destination.’
    • ‘The Pacific event occurs at the geographical latitude of the equator.’
    • ‘Admittedly, your meter is wrong, in that ten million meters wouldn't quite get you from the North Pole to the equator via Paris.’
    • ‘It is pointed out that the State capital is ideally placed for sky-gazing, as it is close to the equator and the northern and southern hemispheres can be seen almost in their entirety.’
    • ‘As of 1791, the meter was defined as one ten-millionth the distance from the North Pole to the equator along the line of longitude that passes through Paris.’
    • ‘This influx of fresh water causes the Gulf Stream, the ocean current that carries warm water from the equator into the northern hemisphere, to stop.’
    • ‘We said earlier that the end of a pointer, pointing at Polaris, casts a shadow that moves round a circle on a disk parallel to the equator of the Earth.’
    • ‘From the equator down to the South Pole, the lines of latitude get smaller once again, corresponding to the Universe shrinking back to nothing at all as time passes.’
    1. 1.1A corresponding line on a planet or other body.
    2. 1.2Astronomy
      • ‘The numbers that you see along the equator line represent celestial longitude, that is, hours of right ascension.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin aequator, in the phrase circulus aequator diei et noctis circle equalizing day and night, from Latin aequare make equal (see equate).