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°.

    • ‘The latitudinal studies involve seasonality near the equator and in each hemisphere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are halfway between the equator and the south pole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As you move away from the equator and toward the poles, the longitude lines get closer together, creating a nonhomogeneous globe.’
    • ‘UV intensity falls as one moves from the equator toward Earth's poles, increasing latitude.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a fact of geography that near the equator, the earth receives more energy from the sun.’
    • ‘The Pacific event occurs at the geographical latitude of 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Here the zero lines of longitude and latitude - the Greenwich meridian and the equator - bisect.’
    • ‘In fact several inversions have been found to form clines with higher frequencies at low latitudes near 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.’
    • ‘The Sun crosses the projection of Earth's equator on the sky and passes into the Southern Hemisphere.’
    1. 1.1 A corresponding line on a planet or other body.
      • ‘As it does so, Mars rotates, and so the cable heats up and wraps itself around the planet as it falls, eventually burning a groove all the way around the equator of the planet.’
      • ‘He lived up north and now he felt like he was walking across the equator of the planet.’
      • ‘It passed through the equator of the planet, and then down again.’
      • ‘High-resolution pictures from the Mars Express spacecraft also suggested the Olympus Mons volcano on the planet's equator may have an icecap made of water.’
      • ‘If the leading edge of the club starts on the ground at address, but it is contacting the ball around its equator, your body is probably rising somewhere between the start of your swing and impact.’
      • ‘As they move around as the Sun spins, sunspots near the solar equator return to their starting point in about twenty-five days.’
      • ‘The 3D images of pack ice near the Martian equator have been taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board the Mars Express probe.’
      • ‘Creating gravity would be a problem, since spinning the sphere would add more stress to the structure and force everyone to the equator of the sphere.’
      • ‘In drifting, they may sweep through locations where other moons disturb them, making their orbits eccentric or inclined relative to the planet's equator.’
      • ‘Two NASA rovers were to be launched this month and next, for Mars, and are scheduled to land in January near the planet's equator.’
      • ‘The Sun spins once on its axis once every 25 days at its equator, carrying sunspots around.’
      • ‘Boscovich was the first to give a procedure to compute a planet's orbit from 3 observations of its position and he also gave a procedure for determining the equator of a planet from 3 observations of a surface feature.’
    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).