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

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Other Words from latitude

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

Synonyms for latitude


leeway, slack, space, wiggle room

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

To identify the beach boundaries, the team consults satellite images, local city and county governments, latitude and longitude coordinates, blogs, websites, and even Wikipedia. Los Angeles Times, " wants to be the Yelp of beaches," 9 Aug. 2019 During Kyle's death, officers could have asked a dispatcher for latitude and longitude coordinates of the call and entered them into the system themselves. Sharon Coolidge,, "After 911 calls fail to save 16-year-old Kyle Plush, his parents sue Cincinnati to get answers they were promised, but never got," 9 Aug. 2019 In the Sunday strip for October 15, 1961, the title panel shows Charlie Brown’s head as a table globe, imprinted with a grid of latitude and longitude. Nicole Rudick, The New Yorker, "How “Peanuts” Created a Space for Thinking," 6 Aug. 2019 The ruling doesn’t apply to districts gerrymandered along racial lines but otherwise gives states wide latitude to draw maps with little concern for an eventual judicial rebuke. Brian Slodysko And Paul J. Weber,, "Democrats got thumped ahead of redistricting in 2010. Now they’re trying to take back statehouses with Trump on the ticket.," 20 Aug. 2019 So the officer got a second warrant that gave medical staff wider legal latitude to obtain the baggie, and took Brown to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "State Supreme Court rules against forced body cavity search," 15 Aug. 2019 Some argue that the Constitution gives states wide latitude to shape their primary elections. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Trump’s right, California’s wrong on release of tax returns," 8 Aug. 2019 Any change in the apportionment measure of total population would certainly give the court and the states much more latitude to change the measure for the redistricting population. Jeffrey W Ladewig, The Conversation, "Trump’s fight to count US citizens and non-citizens: 5 questions answered," 8 Aug. 2019 The older technology wasn’t acute enough to read those sections of their genomes, and the policy didn’t give the company enough latitude to do it anyway. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "Not Everyone on 23andMe Will Get the Latest Gene Chip Updates," 16 July 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for latitude

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for latitude

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

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More Definitions for latitude



English Language Learners Definition of latitude

: distance north or south of the equator measured in degrees up to 90 degrees
: an imaginary line that circles the Earth at a particular latitude and that is parallel to the equator
somewhat formal : freedom to choose how to act or what to do


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.

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Comments on latitude

What made you want to look up latitude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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