Definition of longitude in English:



  • 1The angular distance of a place east or west of the meridian at Greenwich, England, or west of the standard meridian of a celestial object, usually expressed in degrees and minutes.

    ‘at a longitude of 2° W’
    [mass noun] ‘lines of longitude’
    • ‘Latitudes and longitudes were known for each site, but the precise relationship between them was not known.’
    • ‘Down the left of the chart Galileo lists the longitude and latitude for each planet.’
    • ‘Her certificate of discharge even recorded the longitude and latitude at which the company's contractual obligations ended.’
    • ‘Table 1 lists the stations, their latitudes, longitudes, elevations above sea level and the time periods for which data are studied.’
    • ‘Many of the perturbations to the atmosphere that we see occur over very large spatial scales, so it's very important to be able to collaborate with people who operate equipment at other latitudes and other longitudes.’
    • ‘Each standard atlas covers thirty minutes of latitude and longitude at a scale of four miles to the inch, and fills one page in the book.’
    • ‘In such circumstances it is not surprising that a wrong reading is made of the latitudes and longitudes and very soon the young one finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into this bog of multiple explanations.’
    • ‘It discusses topics such as geometry, geography and algebra with applications to the longitudes of the planets.’
    • ‘Any object on the same hour circle will have the same right ascension, just as any place on earth on the same meridian of longitude has the same longitude.’
    • ‘Every four minutes of difference would indicate 1 degree of longitude to the east or the west.’
    • ‘At the right longitude and latitude, the resort has plentiful snowfall.’
    • ‘Firstly, remember that your longitude is the angular distance West of the Greenwich meridian.’
    • ‘This displaces the track of totality about 60 degrees east in longitude.’
    • ‘They are primarily seen at 40 degrees south latitude, and they appear at many longitudes.’
    • ‘Other published co-ordinates agree with the latitude, but longitude can vary by as much as 0.03 minutes west.’
    • ‘He returned with astronomically determined latitudes and longitudes for many of the places he had visited, essential data for accurate mapping.’
    • ‘Not by accident, he used Harrison's chronometer and lunar distances to calculate longitudes accurately.’
    • ‘The zero degree line of longitude slices down through Greenwich, dividing London into western and eastern hemispheres.’
    • ‘You may notice that both these institutions of higher education are a mere stone's throw from my current longitude and latitude.’
    • ‘In his instructions for constructing a celestial globe, Ptolemy recommended that all longitudes should be measured from Sirius, so that it would not become out of date as a result of precession.’
    1. 1.1Astronomy


Late Middle English (also denoting length and tallness): from Latin longitudo, from longus long.