One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Distance travelled or measured southward, especially at sea.‘the object of all vessels using this route is to get sufficient southing off the coast to beat around the Horn despite the violent winds’
- ‘Peter's been to the Faroes, we've been to the Orkneys and Iain, with various crew, has been making his southings down the West Coast visiting his old haunts.’
- 1.1count noun A figure or line representing southward distance on a map.
- ‘We've come to the exact co-ordinates given on the Internet, as a southing and an easting to the metre, to a spot out on a wall looking over Botany Bay with the clues that the cache is somewhere in this rockpile.’
- 1.2Astronomy The transit of a celestial object, especially the sun, across the meridian due south of the observer.
- 1.3Astronomy count noun The angular distance of a star or other object south of the celestial equator.
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