great circle
noun Date: 1594 a circle formed on the surface of a sphere by the intersection of a plane that passes through the center of the sphere; specifically such a circle on the surface of the earth an arc of which connecting two terrestrial points constitutes the shortest distance on the earth's surface between them

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • great circle — n. any circle described on the surface of a sphere by a plane which passes through the center of the sphere; specif., such a circle on the earth s surface: a course (great circle course) plotted along a great circle of the earth is the shortest… …   English World dictionary

  • Great Circle — *Great circle is a circle on the surface of a sphere. *Great Circle is also a fictional organization from Andromeda Nebula, a novel by Ivan Yefremov …   Wikipedia

  • great circle — ► NOUN ▪ a circle on the surface of a sphere which lies in a plane passing through the sphere s centre, especially as representing the shortest path between two given points on the sphere …   English terms dictionary

  • Great circle — For fictional interstellar organization called Great Circle, see Andromeda (novel). A great circle divides the sphere in two equal hemispheres A great circle, also known as a Riemannian circle, of a sphere is the intersection of the sphere and a… …   Wikipedia

  • great circle — noun a circular line on the surface of a sphere formed by intersecting it with a plane passing through the center • Hypernyms: ↑line • Hyponyms: ↑celestial equator, ↑equinoctial circle, ↑equinoctial line, ↑equinoctial, ↑ecliptic, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • great circle — A circle on the surface of the sphere (earth) whose center and radii are those of the sphere itself. Only one great circle may be drawn through two places that are not diametrically opposite on the surface of a sphere. The shortest distance… …   Aviation dictionary

  • great circle — noun a) A circle defined as the intersection of the surface of a sphere and a plane which passes through the centre of the sphere. Wherever a navigator may be, it certainly would be to his advantage to be able to find the great circle, or… …   Wiktionary

  • great circle — great′ cir′cle n. 1) math. a circle on a sphere such that the plane containing the circle passes through the center of the sphere 2) naut. geo a circle of which a segment represents the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the… …   From formal English to slang

  • great circle — 1. a circle on a spherical surface such that the plane containing the circle passes through the center of the sphere. Cf. small circle. 2. a circle of which a segment represents the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the earth …   Universalium

  • great circle — Synonyms and related words: anklet, aphelion, apogee, armlet, astronomical longitude, autumnal equinox, band, belt, bracelet, celestial equator, celestial longitude, celestial meridian, cincture, cingulum, circle, collar, collarband, colures,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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