great circle

noun
Updated on: 22 May 2018

Definition of great circle

: a circle formed on the surface of a sphere by the intersection of a plane that passes through the center of the sphere; specifically : such a circle on the surface of the earth an arc of which connecting two terrestrial points constitutes the shortest distance on the earth's surface between them

Recent Examples of great circle from the Web

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

First Known Use of great circle

circa 1530

in the meaning defined above

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