az·​i·​muth ˈaz-məth How to pronounce azimuth (audio)
: an arc of the horizon measured between a fixed point (such as true north) and the vertical circle passing through the center of an object usually in astronomy and navigation clockwise from the north point through 360 degrees
: horizontal direction expressed as the angular distance between the direction of a fixed point (such as the observer's heading) and the direction of the object
azimuthal adjective
azimuthally adverb

Illustration of azimuth

Illustration of azimuth
  • 1 horizon
  • 2 zenith
  • 3 star
  • 4 meridian
  • 5 vertical circle
  • 6 azimuth
  • 7 observer

Examples of azimuth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is a tricky shot because the azimuth (cardinal direction) of the sunrise changes every day, and getting the right alignment between the two mountains and our much more distant star on the horizon took exacting timing. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 29 Dec. 2023 The first few seconds of flights to geostationary orbit start with the rocket at an azimuth of 90 degrees, but this one required a 70-degree azimuth. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 25 Oct. 2022 As well as reporting the azimuth (horizontal angle), elevation, and range of an object like a lidar does, radars can also detect its relative velocity, because the frequency of returning signals are Doppler-shifted. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Mar. 2020 On the performance side, Coba is designed to have diesel-electric hybrid propulsion, equipped with azimuth pods for easy maneuverability and noise insulation. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 17 Feb. 2023 Like the Wider, Aegir’s propulsion system also includes an azimuth pod-drive system, a lithium polymer battery bank and bow thrusters, with power coming from four Rolls Royce Marine Gen Set engines. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 20 Jan. 2023 For anyone using the Apple Pencil on compatible devices, hover now has support for tilt (altitude) and orientation (azimuth). Umar Shakir, The Verge, 16 Feb. 2023 The onboard steam turbine, for instance, will be connected to a generator that charges the batteries to provide power to the azimuth thrusters. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2023 The turntable is fitted with a Naim Aro Tonearm with a performance that’s been boosted by using improved materials like tungsten and carbon fiber with an all-new, no-compromise bias, arm height and azimuth adjustments. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'azimuth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Medieval Latin azimut, from Arabic al-sumūt the azimuth, plural of al-samt the way

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of azimuth was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near azimuth

Cite this Entry

“Azimuth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


az·​i·​muth ˈaz-(ə-)məth How to pronounce azimuth (audio)
: horizontal direction of an object from a fixed point expressed as an angle

More from Merriam-Webster on azimuth

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