lat·​i·​tude | \ ˈla-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce latitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of latitude

1 : angular distance from some specified circle or plane of reference: such as
a : angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees an island located at 40 degrees north latitude
b : a region or locality as marked by its latitude
c : angular distance of a celestial body from the ecliptic
2 : freedom of action or choice students are allowed considerable latitude in choosing courses
3a : scope, range
b : the range of exposures within which a film or plate will produce a negative or positive of satisfactory quality
4 archaic : extent or distance from side to side : width

Illustration of latitude

Illustration of latitude

latitude 1a: hemisphere marked with parallels of latitude

Other Words from latitude

latitudinal \ ˌla-​tə-​ˈtüd-​nəl How to pronounce latitude (audio) , -​ˈtyüd-​ ; -​ˈtü-​də-​nəl , -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
latitudinally adverb

Synonyms for latitude


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Examples of latitude in a Sentence

a map of the world showing lines of latitude and longitude located at a latitude of 40 degrees north Madrid and New York City are on nearly the same latitude. islands located at different latitudes We weren't given much latitude in deciding how to do the job. The judge has wide latitude to reject evidence for the trial. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Beans & Brews gives franchisees the latitude to personalize their shops and change pricing, Haskell said, which larger, more rigid corporate chains don’t often do. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 July 2022 Typically, the Court relies on what is known as the Chevron doctrine, which gives wide latitude to regulatory agencies deciding how to fulfill their Congressional mandates. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 30 June 2022 Given his role in helping to defeat Chechen separatists, Mr. Kadyrov has long been granted wider latitude than any other regional leader to field his own armed men. New York Times, 10 July 2022 Was there something about Tony that gave him more latitude with that kind of thing? Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 July 2022 Carlson’s latitude to articulate racist viewpoints with no interference from higher-ups is among the more enduring stories in modern media. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 7 July 2022 The angle of the sun at Alaska’s high latitude — lower in the sky and present nearly around the clock — is a big factor, Brettschneider said. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 1 July 2022 Ultimately, the rays reach their most northerly point in the sky above the Tropic of Cancer, the imaginary line that parallels the equator at 23.5 degrees north latitude. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 20 June 2022 Under the dominant political order, the minority party’s latitude to alter the country’s course is extremely limited. Ed Burmila, The New Republic, 15 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of latitude

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for latitude

Middle English, from Latin latitudin-, latitudo, from latus wide; akin to Old Church Slavonic postĭlati to spread

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Time Traveler for latitude

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near latitude



latitude effect

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Statistics for latitude

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Latitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for latitude


lat·​i·​tude | \ ˈla-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce latitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Kids Definition of latitude

1 : the distance north or south of the equator measured in degrees
2 : a region marked by its distance north or south of the equator cold latitudes
3 : freedom to act or speak as desired Students weren't given much latitude in deciding what to study.

More from Merriam-Webster on latitude

Nglish: Translation of latitude for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of latitude for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about latitude


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