me·​rid·​i·​an | \ mə-ˈri-dē-ən How to pronounce meridian (audio) \

Definition of meridian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the poles
(2) : the half of such a circle included between the poles
b : a representation of such a circle or half circle numbered for longitude (see longitude sense 1) on a map or globe — see longitude illustration
2 : a great circle of the celestial sphere passing through its poles and the zenith of a given place — see azimuth illustration
3 : any of the pathways along which the body's vital energy flows according to the theory behind acupuncture
4 : a high point (as of development or prosperity) the problem of the unmarried don after he had passed the meridian— H. J. Laski
5 archaic : the hour of noon : midday


geographical name
Me·​rid·​i·​an | \ mə-ˈri-dē-ən How to pronounce Meridian (audio) \

Definition of Meridian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 city in southwestern Idaho west of Boise population 75,092

Note: Between 2000 and 2010, Meridian more than doubled in population.

2 city in east central Mississippi population 41,148

Note: In 1863, during the American Civil War, Meridian served as temporary state capital for a brief time.

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Other Words from meridian


meridian adjective

Examples of meridian in a Sentence


a lawyer at the meridian of his career arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The treatment plan utilizes both body and facial points, and prior to facial needling, micro-current (a therapeutic electrical stimulation) is used on the muscles and meridians of the face to both boost the Qi and drain fluids. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What Exactly Is Facial Acupuncture — And Why You Should Try It," 6 Feb. 2019 Every few kilometers along the highway, villagers in nearly 90-degree heat stand at the meridian holding cardboard collection boxes for drinking water and cash donations. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Drinking Water, Fuel in Short Supply in Indonesian Quake Zone," 7 Aug. 2018 Smith is one of the top YouTubers making videos designed to elicit the peculiar and calming autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, from viewers. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "What It’s Like to Be an ASMR Video Star," 5 Sep. 2018 When the planet crosses the meridian and attains its highest point in the sky, at around 1 a.m. local daylight time, Mars' altitude above the southern horizon will be only 23 degrees as viewed from Chicago and 30 degrees from Los Angeles. Joe Rao,, "Mars Makes Its Closest Approach in 15 Years This Summer: How to See It," 29 May 2018 Those westgoers flocking into the arid lands beyond the 100th meridian would see their dreams dashed by spindly crops. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 The land west of the 100th meridian, Powell announced, could not support conventional agriculture. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 The divide now seems closer to the 98th meridian, some 100 miles east of the 100th, the team says, although there is significant year-to-year variability within the data. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "A Nation Divided: Arid/Humid Climate Boundary in U.S. Creeps Eastward," 27 Apr. 2018 While traditional acupuncture focuses on the meridians, other forms of the practice include trigger-point acupuncture, also known as ashi acupuncture. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "A needlesome problem: Who should be able to perform acupuncture-like technique?," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meridian.' 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 meridian


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for meridian


Middle English, from Anglo-French meridien, from meridien of noon, from Latin meridianus, from meridies noon, south, irregular from medius mid + dies day — more at mid, deity

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Statistics for meridian

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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

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More Definitions for meridian



English Language Learners Definition of meridian

: any one of the lines that go from the North Pole to the South Pole on maps of the world


me·​rid·​i·​an | \ mə-ˈri-dē-ən How to pronounce meridian (audio) \

Kids Definition of meridian

1 : any imaginary semicircle on the earth's surface reaching from the north pole to the south pole
2 : a representation of a meridian on a map or globe numbered according to degrees of longitude


me·​rid·​i·​an | \ mə-ˈrid-ē-ən How to pronounce meridian (audio) \

Medical Definition of meridian

1 : an imaginary circle or closed curve on the surface of a sphere or globe-shaped body (as the eyeball) that lies in a plane passing through the poles
2 : any of the pathways along which the body's vital energy flows according to the theory of acupuncture

Other Words from meridian

meridian adjective

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Comments on meridian

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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