equa·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce equatorial (audio) , ˌe-kwə- \

Definition of equatorial

1a : of, relating to, or located at the equator or an equator also : being in the plane of the equator a satellite in equatorial orbit
b : of, originating in, or suggesting the region around the geographic equator
2a : being or having a support that includes two axles at right angles to each other with one parallel to the earth's axis of rotation an equatorial telescope mount
b : extending in a direction essentially in the plane of a cyclic structure (as of cyclohexane) equatorial hydrogens — compare axial

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Synonyms & Antonyms for equatorial



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Examples of equatorial in a Sentence

a lush equatorial rain forest that is threatened by rampant development
Recent Examples on the Web In the scorching equatorial sun, the batteries from solar panels are usually fully charged by 11am, so there’s always a huge surplus of battery power there to be used. Todd Gillespie, Bloomberg.com, "East Africa’s Electric Motorbikes Are Fueling a Carbon-Free Future," 22 Dec. 2020 The weather pattern is defined by cooler water and easterly winds in the equatorial Pacific, which often results in less rain in the subtropical latitudes of the Americas — and as far north as Southern and Central California. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Rain, snow in California forecast — though climate experts warn of deepening drought," 5 Nov. 2020 The region as a whole has suffered particularly heavy rainfall amid the onset of a La Nina weather system, which is characterized by unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Reuters, CNN, "Vietnam prepares to evacuate 1.3 million people as Typhoon Molave approaches," 26 Oct. 2020 La Nina is the climate phenomenon that is marked by cooler-than-average ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Leigh Morgan, al, "NOAA releases winter outlook: Any hope for snow in Alabama?," 15 Oct. 2020 But in Pluto's equatorial region, also called the Cthulhu region, bright white frosts collect on top of the red features in a striking way. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Pluto's snow-capped mountains look like they belong on Earth, but they're entirely different," 13 Oct. 2020 La Niña features unusually cool ocean waters in the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean and can influence weather patterns beyond the Pacific. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "30 Degree Drop: Shorts Today Give Way to Sweatshirts & Jackets Next Week," 24 Sep. 2020 Much of Io’s volcanic activity seems to happen near its equator rather than its poles, although Hay cautions that appearance could be a result of observational bias: the equatorial region has been imaged more frequently than the poles. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Jupiter’s Ocean Moons Raise One Another’s Tides," 8 Sep. 2020 For example, in equatorial jungles, plants often go dormant during the dry season. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Why leaves change color in autumn — and how to help your trees look as spectacular as possible," 4 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equatorial.' 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 equatorial

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for equatorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of equatorial was in 1664

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Statistics for equatorial

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Equatorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equatorial. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for equatorial


How to pronounce equatorial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of equatorial

: of or relating to the equator : located at or near the equator


equa·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce equatorial (audio) , ˌe-kwə- \

Kids Definition of equatorial

: relating to or lying near the equator an equatorial climate


equa·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈtōr-ē-əl How to pronounce equatorial (audio) , ˌek-wə- How to pronounce equatorial (audio) , -ˈtȯr- \

Medical Definition of equatorial

1 : of, located at, or relating to an equator equatorial diameter
2 : extending in a direction essentially in the plane of a cyclic structure (as of cyclohexane) equatorial hydrogen atoms — compare axial sense 2b

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