dead reckoning


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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dead reckoning

dead reckon verb

Examples of dead reckoning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yoni Nova Kusumawan, had to rely on dead reckoning—using the STS-50’s trackline and rate of speed to estimate where and when to intercept it. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Hunt for the Modern-Day Pirates Who Steal Millions of Tons of Fish From the Seas," 21 Aug. 2020 But since all of these systems all used dead reckoning—which, again, compares a car’s location to that of a map—these solutions weren’t actually that much more advanced than the 1909 Jones Live-Map. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "The long, winding, technological road to GPS in every car," 24 June 2020 Known as dead reckoning, the system didn't use satellites. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "The long, winding, technological road to GPS in every car," 24 June 2020 Developed in California by Stan Honey and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, this aftermarket automotive navigation system also operated on dead reckoning by comparing a car’s location to points on a map. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "The long, winding, technological road to GPS in every car," 24 June 2020 In 1995, the 174m Panamanian cruise ship Royal Majesty had a mechanical failure that forced its navigation system to switch from GPS to dead reckoning. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Claims of Tesla hack wide of the mark—we dig into GNSS hacking," 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dead reckoning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dead reckoning

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dead reckoning

Time Traveler for dead reckoning

Time Traveler

The first known use of dead reckoning was in 1613

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dead reckoning

Last Updated

29 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dead reckoning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dead reckoning

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dead reckoning 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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