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

  • n. The angular distance north or south of the earth's equator, measured in degrees along a meridian, as on a map or globe.
  • n. A region of the earth considered in relation to its distance from the equator: temperate latitudes.
  • n. Astronomy The angular distance of a celestial body north or south of the ecliptic.
  • n. Freedom from normal restraints, limitations, or regulations. See Synonyms at room.
  • n. A range of values or conditions, especially the range of exposures over which a photographic film yields usable images.
  • n. Extent; breadth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The angular distance north or south from a planet's equator, measured along the meridian of that particular point.
  • n. An imaginary line (in fact a circle) around a planet running parallel to the planet's equator.
  • n. The relative freedom from restrictions; scope to do something.
  • n. The angular distance of a heavenly body from the ecliptic.
  • n. The extent to which a light-sensitive material can be over- or underexposed and still achieve an acceptable result.
  • n. Extent or scope; e.g. breadth, width or amplitude.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj.
  • n. Extent from side to side, or distance sidewise from a given point or line; breadth; width.
  • n. Room; space; freedom from confinement or restraint; hence, looseness; laxity; independence.
  • n. Extent or breadth of signification, application, etc.; extent of deviation from a standard, as truth, style, etc.
  • n. Extent; size; amplitude; scope.
  • n. Distance north or south of the equator, measured on a meridian.
  • n. The angular distance of a heavenly body from the ecliptic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Extent from side to side, or distance sidewise from a given point or line; breadth; width.
  • n. Extent within limits of any kind; scope; range; comprehensiveness: as, to be allowed great latitude of motion or action; latitude of meaning or of application.
  • n. Hence Extent of deviation from a standard; freedom from rules or limits: as, latitude of conduct.
  • n. The elevation of the pole of the heavens at a station, or the angle at which the plane of the horizon is cut by the earth's axis; the total curvature or bending of a meridian between the equator and a station; the angle which the plumb-line at any place makes with the plumb-line at the equator in the same plane; on a map, the angular distance of a point on the earth's surface from the equator, measured on the meridian of the point: as, St. Paul's, London, is in lat. 51° 30' 48″ N.; Cape Horn is in lat. 55° 59' S.
  • n. In astronomy, the angular distance of a star north or south of the ecliptic, measured on that secondary to the ecliptic which passes through the body.
  • n. The quantity of the interval between two latitudes, either in the geographical or the astronomical sense: as, to sail through 30° of latitude.
  • n. A place or region as marked by parallels of latitude: as, to fish in high latitudes (that is, in places where the latitude is a high number); the orange will not ripen in this latitude (that is, it will not do so in any place on the same parallel of latitude as the place spoken of); you are out of your latitude (that is, literally or figuratively, you have committed an error of navigation, so that the latitude you have assigned to the ship's place is not the true one).

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

  • n. an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
  • n. scope for freedom of e.g. action or thought; freedom from restriction
  • n. the angular distance between an imaginary line around a heavenly body parallel to its equator and the equator itself
  • n. freedom from normal restraints in conduct


Middle English, geographical latitude, from Old French, width, from Latin lātitūdō, width, geographical latitude, from lātus, wide.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French latitude, from Latin lātitūdō ("breadth, width, latitude"), from lātus ("broad, wide"), for older stlatus. (Wiktionary)



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