Definition of meridian in English:



  • 1A circle of constant longitude passing through a given place on the earth's surface and the terrestrial poles.

    ‘the European Broadcasting Area extends from the Atlantic to the meridian 40°E’
    • ‘The voyage must also start from and return to the same point, and cross all of the meridians as well as the equator.’
    • ‘From 1610 he lectured on astronomy and mathematics for two years, becoming a full professor in 1615, upon which he decided to determine the meridian; the circumference of the earth.’
    • ‘The meridians intersect and pile up to create a co-ordinate singularity at the Poles, but nothing odd happens on the Earth's real surface.’
    • ‘Also, in the same year, he began the measurement of the arc of the meridian (longitude line) through Paris.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, by the end of 1868 Montana had an initial point, a baseline, and a principal meridian, and much of its most economically promising terrain had been surveyed and mapped.’
    • ‘Snell studied the loxodrome, the path on the sphere that makes constant angle with the meridians.’
    • ‘A world known only to her and one in which mice and birds have etched meridians and longitudes, mapping her territory.’
    • ‘Greenwich was adopted as the universal time meridian of longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.’
    • ‘In this projection the meridians are vertical and parallels having increased spacing in proportion to the secant of the latitude.’
    • ‘Whereas terrestrial longitude uses meridians of longitude, right ascension uses hour circles which run between the north and south celestial poles.’
    • ‘The first part described geographical and astronomical terms such as latitude, longitude, meridian, poles, eclipses, signs of the zodiac etc.’
    • ‘On an oceanic voyage, however, especially at higher latitudes, the converging meridians on the physical globe conflicted with the parallel meridians shown on the traditional portolan chart.’
    • ‘Whereas meridians of longitude loop, from the North Pole to the South and back again, in great circles of the same size, converging at the ends of the earth.’
    • ‘Most school students know the answer to this question: What is the meridian of longitude used to calculate Indian Standard Time?’
    • ‘A year ago, the Millennium Dome, located on the meridian at Greenwich, was the centerpiece of Britain's over-the-top festivities to welcome the year 2000.’
    • ‘All meridians of longitude - imaginary lines that stretch from the North Pole to the South Pole - begin at this pole.’
    • ‘Assignment of local standard times was based on the nearest standard meridian to the east of the simulation longitude.’
    • ‘On the surface of the earth, the shortest path between two points (taking one of the points to be the North Pole) is along the meridian of fixed longitude connecting the North Pole to the other point.’
    • ‘Anywhere within about 90 degrees of longitude of that meridian will be able to see the complete eclipse.’
    • ‘In order to determine the shape of the Earth, Cassini proposed measuring an arc of the meridian from the north of France to the south.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy A circle passing through the celestial poles and the zenith of a given place on the earth's surface.
      ‘at the end of February Jupiter transits the meridian, due south, at 6.15 a.m’
      • ‘It will be the start of a new era resulting from and signified by the solar meridian crossing the galactic equator, and the earth aligning itself with the center of the galaxy.’
      • ‘When a star passes over the meridian, the transit instrument can be used to measure the angle at which this happens.’
      • ‘This then tells you the local solar time for Athens in that era: that is, when the Sun rose, when it crossed the meridian, when it set.’
      • ‘Local time at all other locations on the Earth's surface is based on the Sun's position relative to the celestial meridian, an imaginary line running north and south directly overhead.’
      • ‘The nearest part of the Earth's surface to the Moon, around the noon meridian, may be only just close enough to be within the umbra (the conical lunar shadow), so that observers there experience a very brief total eclipse.’
      highest level, peak, height, high point, high spot, summit, top, climax, crowning point, peak of perfection, apex, vertex, zenith, apogee, ascendancy, upper limit, acme
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  • 2(in acupuncture and Chinese medicine) each of a set of pathways in the body along which vital energy is said to flow.

    ‘the slow movements and postures of t'ai chi open up and align the meridians of the body’
    • ‘It has its basis in traditional Chinese medicine, and uses the same principles of energy and meridians as acupuncture or acupressure.’
    • ‘Acupuncture needles are inserted in distal points in the arms and legs along these meridians, harmonizing the flow of energy and releasing the stagnation.’
    • ‘The technique uses fine needles inserted at specific points on the body in order to restore the balance of qi flowing along a number of meridians or channels in the body.’
    • ‘The body's energy pathways, called meridians, are connected to a corresponding point on the hands and feet.’
    • ‘Benny grabs his flagellating rod and whips himself as hard as he can a dozen times, striking the acupuncture meridians of the body.’
    • ‘But then, these are actually the channels and meridians controlling the vital energy flow, " Dr. Joshi said.’
    • ‘Traditional eastern medicine explains acupuncture as a method to assess and rebalance the flow of qi, or energy, that travels along 12 main linear pathways, or meridians, in the body.’
    • ‘Regular exercise also helps by moving our Qi, or ‘chee,’ which is a Chinese medical term for the energy that courses through our bodies in pathways called meridians.’
    • ‘This flows between the organs of the body along pathways called meridians or channels.’
    • ‘He organised Tai chi into 12 forms called Chi (an essential energy which flows through the meridians to nourish the body and protects against the attack of diseases) disruption forms.’
    • ‘Each meridian (pathway of energy) has a proper direction of flow, and each emotion will affect energy flow in a different way.’
    • ‘There is a small section devoted to the most basic of theory of Chinese Medicine and the meridians.’
    • ‘It originated in China 2,000 years ago and uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi or ‘energy’ through meridians in the body.’
    • ‘A meridian is a pathway along which energy / Qi flows.’
    • ‘Qi travels through the body along special pathways called meridians.’
    • ‘She probed my abdomen to look for imbalances in qi, the energy that flows throughout the body along channels called meridians.’
    • ‘Energy in the body flows along predictable pathways called meridians.’
    • ‘Acupuncture, which originated in China more than 2,000 years ago, is based on the idea that energy, or Qi, flows along channels called meridians in body.’
    • ‘The physiological and cellular changes that are initiated by effective acupuncture therapies are still largely unknown as is the extent to which they rely on the qi energy and meridians of traditional Asian medicine.’
    • ‘It corresponds to a special acupuncture meridian in Chinese medicine called the belt meridian.’


  • attributive Relating to or situated at a meridian.

    ‘the meridian moon’
    • ‘The attraction of the time theme inspired its creators to look to Greenwich and its meridian line.’
    • ‘If energy levels of a corresponding organ are found deficient, it suggests meridian points to work on and rectify it.’
    • ‘Another of ibn Sina's contributions to astronomy was his attempt to calculate the difference in longitude between Baghdad and Gurgan by observing a meridian transit of the moon at Gurgan.’
    • ‘In 1977 the Japanese psychologist Shizuto Masunaga, with his student Wataru Ohashi, developed a set of protocols integrating psychotherapeutic thought, meridian connection and physical pressure.’
    • ‘This also gave her plenty of time to hone her sensitivity to meridian vibrations.’
    • ‘In the following year they surveyed the perpendicular to the meridian east of Paris, triangulating the area between Paris and Strasbourg.’
    • ‘During the year 994 al-Khujandi used the very large instrument to observe a series of meridian transits of the sun near the solstices.’
    • ‘For al-Battani refraction had little effect on his meridian observations at the winter solstice because, at his more southerly site of ar-Raqqah, the sun was higher in the sky.’
    • ‘‘I was really struggling with the treatment I was on, but I've been trying meridian therapy since then and I feel a lot better,’ said Helen, of Lowther Street.’
    • ‘In 1700 the meridian project was revived and now, in addition to a number of other scientists, Cassini had his son Jacques to assist him.’
    • ‘A meridian line is a line used by astronomers, meteorologists and others to measure from.’
    • ‘It should be noted that the applicant's own experts referred to the 15 degree above and below the meridian concept in some of their reports in his support.’
    • ‘Shiatsu uses the meridian lines that run through the body.’
    • ‘The same applies to the meridian programmes and to the specific environmental stresses, colours and trauma.’
    • ‘Putting years of training into learning how to apply hypnotic and meridian therapies is quite a dramatic departure for the father-of-three after running a regional building society for much of his life.’
    • ‘Further round you cross the meridian line, etched in stone, beside a disused pavilion still home to the model remains of a multimedia exhibition.’
    • ‘The meridian line through the Observatory became the official meridian line of Paris.’
    • ‘We are in a situation where, as Stewart describes, contemporary practices in the arts reflect a meridian era of evolution, which requires us to be articulate practitioners.’
    • ‘Body training consists of various gentle stretches and meditation postures to open the meridian lines.’
    • ‘Instead I found myself staring up at the Cutty Sark and chasing an elusive meridian line across Greenwich Park with Luke.’


Late Middle English: from Old French meridien, from Latin meridianum (neuter, used as a noun) ‘noon’, from medius ‘middle’ + dies ‘day’. The use in astronomy is due to the fact that the sun crosses a meridian at noon.