Definition of horse latitudes in English:

horse latitudes

plural noun

  • A belt of calm air and sea occurring in both the northern and southern hemispheres between the trade winds and the westerlies.

    • ‘Of course, with subscription and newsstand sales both stuck in the horse latitudes, the temptation to ‘manage’ circulation remains great.’
    • ‘Anyone publishing it should be shanghaied aboard a hell-ship and flogged through the horse latitudes.’
    • ‘He comes up with a nice line in bumptious hyperbole in tribute to the acres of print spilled during our recent, prolonged spell in the horse latitudes of politics.’
    • ‘If you're bound for the horse latitudes, L.L. Bean's Roll-Up Panama Hat sheds water and is as airy as a Bermuda veranda.’
    • ‘Here are our lovingly researched, adrenaline-and rum-spiked reasons to love the horse latitudes.’


Late 18th century: origin uncertain; perhaps from the fact that becalmed sailing ships on long journeys were said to have thrown horses overboard to conserve water for the crew.