ge·​od·​e·​sy jē-ˈä-də-sē How to pronounce geodesy (audio)
: a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the determination of the size and shape of the earth and the exact positions of points on its surface and with the description of variations of its gravity field
geodesist noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Her work on satellite geodesy and satellite measurements contributed to the accuracy of GPS, which impacts phones and is widely used in automobiles. Amritpal Kaur Sandhu-longoria, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2023 This is a major deal for the science of geodesy, which measures Earth’s shape and gravitational influence. Bill Andrews, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2018 That spells bad news for the regional tourism industry that relies on the glaciers, said Christoph Mayer, a senior scientist in the geodesy and glaciology group at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Munich. Victoria Milko, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2021 But subsidence, or the gradual sinking of land, likely would not on its own cause a building to collapse, according to Wdowinski, whose expertise is in space geodesy, natural hazards and sea level rise. Laura Romero, ABC News, 3 Aug. 2021

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

Word History


Greek geōdaisia, from geō- ge- + daiesthai to divide — more at tide entry 1

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of geodesy was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near geodesy

Cite this Entry

“Geodesy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

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