lat·​i·​tude ˈla-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce latitude (audio)
: angular distance from some specified circle or plane of reference: such as
: angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees
an island located at 40 degrees north latitude
: a region or locality as marked by its latitude
: angular distance of a celestial body from the ecliptic
: freedom of action or choice
students are allowed considerable latitude in choosing courses
: the range of exposures within which a film or plate will produce a negative or positive of satisfactory quality
archaic : extent or distance from side to side : width
ˌla-tə-ˈtü-də-nəl How to pronounce latitude (audio)
latitudinally adverb

Illustration of latitude

Illustration of latitude
  • hemisphere marked with parallels of latitude

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Since then, arguably, a different kind of television has emerged and taken root, giving creative talent more latitude to decide the shelf life of their stories. Brian Lowry, CNN, 1 July 2024 Photograph: Jemal Countess/Getty Images As if Big Tech weren’t powerful enough already, recent decisions by the Supreme Court will give some of the most valuable companies in the world more latitude to undermine the government’s ability to rein them in, according to legal experts WIRED spoke to. Jordan Pearson, WIRED, 1 July 2024 By Tuesday, the hurricane center noted that conditions could shift, and a strong subtropical ridge that is expected to keep the storm at lower latitudes could lighten, allowing Beryl to inch into higher latitudes. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 29 June 2024 Originating from the temperate deciduous forests of Eurasia, the little bird is now common in boreal coniferous forests at northern latitudes. Anders Brodin, Scientific American, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for latitude 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near latitude

Cite this Entry

“Latitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


lat·​i·​tude ˈlat-ə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce latitude (audio)
: distance north or south from the equator measured in degrees
: a region or locality as marked by its latitude
: freedom from narrow restrictions
were allowed latitude in picking report topics
latitudinal adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on latitude

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