dead reckoning

noun

Definition of dead reckoning 

1 : the determination without the aid of celestial observations of the position of a ship or aircraft from the record of the courses sailed or flown, the distance made, and the known or estimated drift

2 : guesswork

Other Words from dead reckoning

dead reckon verb

First Known Use of dead reckoning

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dead reckoning

Share dead reckoning

Statistics for dead reckoning

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dead reckoning

The first known use of dead reckoning was in 1613

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on dead reckoning

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dead reckoning

Comments on dead reckoning

What made you want to look up dead reckoning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!