Definition of geodesic in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the shortest possible line between two points on a sphere or other curved surface.

    • ‘He introduced the geodesic curvature although he did not use the term which was due to Bonnet who discovered it independently in 1848.’
    • ‘By 1738 the geodesic measurements carried out to measure the length of a meridian degree had produced very strong evidence for the flattening at the poles.’
    • ‘A formula for the line integral of the geodesic curvature along a closed curve is known as the Gauss Bonnet theorem.’
    • ‘He solved a problem posed by Beltrami of representing one surface on a second surface in such a way that geodesic lines in the first correspond to geodesic lines in the second.’
    • ‘A geodesic sun-tracking model was developed to determine sun position in the sky.’
    1. 1.1 (of a dome or other structure) constructed from struts which follow geodesic lines and typically form an open framework of triangles and polygons.
      • ‘I like the look of their geodesic tent but would rather take in the view from the comfort of the revolving restaurant at Piz Gloria.’
      • ‘Another Londoner made much the same point by stationing a high-tech monitor, encased in a clear plastic sphere, within a white geodesic hut.’
      • ‘This reasonably priced system provides highly machined plastic connectors and sufficient highly engineered struts in various lengths to build scores of geodesic forms.’
      • ‘Standing just off center, the pod is a geodesic wood structure.’
      • ‘A geodesic lattice framework, referred to as a ‘diagrid structure,’ supports the building and is, in effect, the largest radiator in London.’
      • ‘The tumultuous morass of geodesic structures is cobbled together from aluminum poles, plastic bags, bed sheets, and rope.’
      • ‘The Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler had proved that a geodesic structure must contain 12 pentagons to close into a spheroid, although the number of hexagons may vary.’
      • ‘Like a geodesic structure, an increase in the number of nodes should lead to increased stability and strength of the whole system.’
      • ‘The geodesic grid is scaled according to the size of each dome and except in the smallest dome, where it becomes rather dense, the effect is amazingly light for such enormous spans.’
      • ‘Construction is geodesic, with a steel exo-skeleton of hexagonal grid of tubular compression members joined by standard cast connections.’
      • ‘Epcot opened in 1982 at Walt Disney World in Florida with the ‘Spaceship Earth’ attraction in the first completely spherical geodesic structure.’
      • ‘Another bloke and I build just about every type of shed, from a log cabin to a geodesic skeleton-framed dome.’
  • 2

    another term for geodetic


  • A geodesic line or structure.

    • ‘His work in studying the trajectories of point masses on a surface led to certain non-linear differential equations whose solution also gave properties of geodesics.’
    • ‘It possesses shortest lines, now called geodesics, which resemble ordinary straight lines.’
    • ‘Foster called him a ‘lone voice,’ whose work with geodesics demonstrated how building form could be both economical and ecological.’
    • ‘So many blobs are simply the result of stacked geodesics, like Grimshaw's Eden project, a series of bubble-forms that remind me of what geologists call globular clusters.’
    • ‘Using this approximation in Maxwell's equations we see that light travels along null geodesics.’
    • ‘Since geodesics aren't always straight, light doesn't always travel in straight lines.’
    • ‘The photons that reached its senses followed paths that varied slightly from the straight-line geodesics of flat spacetime.’
    • ‘We take as given that the desired curve C is the unique Euclidean circle that is orthogonal to every geodesic through A.’
    • ‘Returning to the University of Breslau he submitted a dissertation on geodesics of spheroids in 1862.’
    • ‘Klingenberg worked during his years at Bonn on closed geodesics.’
    • ‘When this happens, the necessary conditions for the existence and uniqueness of these geodesics are violated.’
    • ‘In this latter topic he had to solve various problems of differential geometry and geodesics.’
    • ‘He then considered the problem of when the geodesics on a surface could be represented as straight lines on the plane.’
    • ‘Fuller's ideas about creating more flexible, sustainable structures by combining technology with models of good design found in nature, like geodesics, were a gestalt to his inquisitive mind.’
    • ‘This reminded me of an interesting property of geodesics in general relativity.’
    • ‘Second, geodesics are circular arcs orthogonal to the unit circle.’
    • ‘He showed how strong triangle-based designs are with his geodesics.’
    • ‘The theory of the geodesics in the large on such surfaces was developed later in the famous memoirs by P Koebe.’
    • ‘Since no strong theoretical reason exists to confine the analysis to geodesics, Stephenson and Zelen's measure might be preferable.’
    • ‘Those distortions guide the moving masses along straight-line geodesics, which look like the curved trajectories that physicists call orbits.’


Early 19th century: from geodesy + -ic.