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noun lat·i·tude \ˈla-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

: distance north or south of the equator measured in degrees up to 90 degrees

: an imaginary line that circles the Earth at a particular latitude and that is parallel to the equator

: freedom to choose how to act or what to do

Full Definition of LATITUDE

archaic :  extent or distance from side to side :  width
:  angular distance from some specified circle or plane of reference: as
a :  angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees
b :  angular distance of a celestial body from the ecliptic
c :  a region or locality as marked by its latitude
a :  scope, range
b :  the range of exposures within which a film or plate will produce a negative or positive of satisfactory quality
:  freedom of action or choice <students are allowed considerable latitude in choosing courses>
lat·i·tu·di·nal \ˌla-tə-ˈtüd-nəl, -ˈtyüd-; -ˈtü-də-nəl, -ˈtyü-\ adjective
lat·i·tu·di·nal·ly adverb

Examples of LATITUDE

  1. a map of the world showing lines of latitude and longitude
  2. located at a latitude of 40 degrees north
  3. Madrid and New York City are on nearly the same latitude.
  4. islands located at different latitudes
  5. We weren't given much latitude in deciding how to do the job.
  6. The judge has wide latitude to reject evidence for the trial.

Illustration of LATITUDE

Origin of LATITUDE

Middle English, from Latin latitudin-, latitudo, from latus wide; akin to Old Church Slavic postĭlati to spread
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to LATITUDE

Other Cartography Terms

Robinson projection, benchmark, plat, projection, topography
LATITUDE Defined for Kids


noun lat·i·tude \ˈla-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of LATITUDE for Kids

:  the distance north or south of the equator measured in degrees
:  a region marked by its distance north or south of the equator <cold latitudes>
:  freedom to act or speak as desired <Students weren't given much latitude in deciding what to study.>
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