equa·​tor | \ i-ˈkwā-tər How to pronounce equator (audio) , ˈē-ˌkwā- \

Definition of equator

1 : the great circle of the celestial sphere whose plane is perpendicular to the axis of the earth
2 : a great circle of the earth or a celestial body that is everywhere equally distant from the two poles and divides the surface into the northern and southern hemispheres
3a : a circle or circular band dividing the surface of a body into two usually equal and symmetrical parts
b : equatorial plane the equator of a dividing cell

Examples of equator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Again, the Ethiopian Ocean is west of Africa and south of the equator. Mary Alexander, Quartz, "Mapmakers once referred to the southern Atlantic Ocean as the Ethiopian Ocean," 2 May 2021 This shower is best seen in the southern tropics, but will still be visible to those north of the equator. Ada Wood And Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Full moon in April 2021: When to see the 'Pink' supermoon," 26 Apr. 2021 If Zhang’s work is correct, by the time a child born today is a freshman in college, the swath of land spanning from 20 degrees north to 20 degrees south of the equator will become practically inhabitable for parts of the year. Erik Kobayashi-solomon, Forbes, "Climate Catalysts: But It’s A Dry Heat," 16 Apr. 2021 But in this spot, 15 miles from the equator, golden savanna stretches in every direction, punctuated only by lacy acacia trees and the occasional solitary elephant. Gina Decaprio Vercesi, Travel + Leisure, "Deep in Uganda's Kyambura Gorge, An Endangered Group of Chimpanzees Has Survived Against All Odds," 20 Mar. 2021 Just sail to the equator and launch whenever the weather allows. David Axe, Forbes, "Italy’s Extra Aircraft Carrier Could Become A Floating Space Base," 17 Mar. 2021 The solstices are the two days when the sun's path is farthest from the equator, causing the greatest difference in the amount of sunlight. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "The first day of spring is coming. Here are ways to celebrate the equinox in Phoenix," 13 Mar. 2021 People living below the equator will have the best chances to see the shooting stars in the middle of the night, and even then, less of them will be visible compared to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks Sunday and Monday," 13 Dec. 2020 Many countries near the equator do not adjust their clocks. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Daylight Saving Time Fast Facts," 16 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of equator

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for equator

Middle English, from Medieval Latin aequator, literally, equalizer, from Latin aequare

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Time Traveler for equator

Time Traveler

The first known use of equator was in the 14th century

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Statistics for equator

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equator. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for equator


equa·​tor | \ i-ˈkwā-tər How to pronounce equator (audio) \

Kids Definition of equator

: an imaginary circle around the earth everywhere equally distant from the north pole and the south pole


equa·​tor | \ i-ˈkwāt-ər How to pronounce equator (audio) , ˈē-ˌ How to pronounce equator (audio) \

Medical Definition of equator

1 : a circle or circular band dividing the surface of a body into two usually equal and symmetrical parts especially at the place of greatest width the equator of the lens of the eye

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