top of page

Claim your free ebook

Website Image.jpg



meridian, latitude, parallel, altitude


SAT 11 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Middle School 10, Geography and Topography



How to pronounce longitude (audio)


Dictionary definition of longitude

A geographic coordinate that indicates the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface.
"The prime meridian in Greenwich is the reference line for measuring longitude."

Detailed meaning of longitude

It is one of the two coordinates used in the global coordinate system, the other being latitude. Longitude is measured in degrees, with the prime meridian, located in Greenwich, London, England, serving as the reference line at 0 degrees longitude. The meridians, or lines of longitude, run from pole to pole and are spaced 1 degree apart. Longitude is essential for navigation and timekeeping, as it is used to determine time zones and calculate the distance between two points on the Earth's surface. In short, longitude is an essential geographical coordinate used to locate and navigate across the globe.

Example sentences containing longitude

1. Longitude is used to measure the distance between two points on the Earth's surface.
2. Longitude is one of the two coordinates used to identify a location on Earth, along with latitude.
3. The lines of longitude run from the North Pole to the South Pole.
4. Time zones are based on differences in longitude.
5. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
6. The International Date Line follows the 180th meridian of longitude.

History and etymology of longitude

The noun 'longitude' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin words 'longitudo,' which means 'length' or 'longness,' and 'longus,' meaning 'long.' In geography and cartography, 'longitude' refers to the measurement of the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface, typically expressed in degrees, with the prime meridian as the reference line. The term 'longitude' emphasizes the concept of measuring the length or longness of the Earth's surface in relation to the prime meridian, reflecting its Latin origins in the notion of length or long distance. It plays a crucial role in determining a location's position in the east-west direction and is an essential component of geographic coordinates.

Quiz: Find the meaning of longitude

Try Again!


Further usage examples of longitude

1. The invention of the chronometer in the 18th century revolutionized the accurate measurement of longitude at sea.
2. The concept of longitude was first proposed by Greek philosopher and scientist Hipparchus in the 2nd century BCE.
3. The distance between two points on the equator can be determined using the difference in longitude.
4. The ability to accurately measure longitude was essential for early explorers, such as Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan.
5. Longitude is a critical component of modern navigation technology, including GPS systems.
6. Longitude lines intersect at the North and South Poles, shaping our global understanding.
7. The Prime Meridian at 0 degrees longitude passes through Greenwich, UK, marking the starting point for measuring east-west coordinates.
8. GPS technology relies on satellite signals to calculate longitude coordinates with precision.
9. Longitude affects time differences across the globe, influencing global timekeeping practices.
10. Celestial navigation was historically employed by sailors to determine their longitude at sea.
11. Accurate longitude measurements are essential for precise mapping and navigation.
12. Longitude lines, ranging from 0 to 180 degrees east and west, provide essential geographic data.
13. Longitude and latitude, combined, establish precise coordinates for any location on Earth.
14. Measuring longitude is vital for determining a ship's exact position during ocean voyages.
15. The Equator serves as a reference line for latitude, while the Prime Meridian does the same for longitude.
16. Longitude coordinates help us navigate and explore our planet's diverse landscapes.
17. Longitude lines converge at the geographic poles, forming a global grid system.
18. Understanding longitude is crucial for accurately representing Earth's surface on maps.
19. Longitude plays a key role in determining local time differences between locations.
20. The Prime Meridian, designated as 0 degrees longitude, passes through Greenwich, England.
21. Longitude measurements are essential for modern-day global positioning systems (GPS).
22. Accurate longitude data is fundamental for the effective functioning of GPS devices.
23. Celestial navigation techniques allowed early explorers to estimate their longitude at sea.
24. The study of longitude has a rich history in the development of cartography.
25. Longitude readings are integral to maintaining accurate timekeeping worldwide.

bottom of page