Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rhumb line.
  • n. One of the points of the mariner's compass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A line which crosses successive meridians at a constant angle
  • n. One of the 32 points of the compass (compass points)
  • n. A unit of angular measure equal to 1/32nd of a circle or 11.25°

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A line which crosses successive meridians at a constant angle; -- called also rhumb line, and loxodromic curve. See loxodromic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A vertical circle of the celestial sphere.
  • n. A point of the compass, a thirty-second part of the circle of the horizon, 11° 15' in azimuth.
  • n. The course of a ship constantly moving at the same angle to its meridian; a rhumb-line.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a line on a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle; the path taken by a ship or plane that maintains a constant compass direction

Etymologies

Possibly from Spanish or Portuguese rumbo, course, direction, ultimately from Latin rhombus, rhombus; see rhombus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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