Definition of geodesic in US English:



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

    • ‘A geodesic sun-tracking model was developed to determine sun position in the sky.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He introduced the geodesic curvature although he did not use the term which was due to Bonnet who discovered it independently in 1848.’
  • 2

    another term for geodetic


  • A geodesic line or structure.

    • ‘This reminded me of an interesting property of geodesics in general relativity.’
    • ‘He then considered the problem of when the geodesics on a surface could be represented as straight lines on the plane.’
    • ‘Using this approximation in Maxwell's equations we see that light travels along null geodesics.’
    • ‘Since no strong theoretical reason exists to confine the analysis to geodesics, Stephenson and Zelen's measure might be preferable.’
    • ‘In this latter topic he had to solve various problems of differential geometry and 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.’
    • ‘The theory of the geodesics in the large on such surfaces was developed later in the famous memoirs by P Koebe.’
    • ‘Klingenberg worked during his years at Bonn on closed geodesics.’
    • ‘Returning to the University of Breslau he submitted a dissertation on geodesics of spheroids in 1862.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He showed how strong triangle-based designs are with his geodesics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Second, geodesics are circular arcs orthogonal to the unit circle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When this happens, the necessary conditions for the existence and uniqueness of these geodesics are violated.’
    • ‘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.