nautical mile


Definition of nautical mile

: any of various units of distance used for sea and air navigation based on the length of a minute of arc of a great circle of the earth and differing because the earth is not a perfect sphere: such as
a : a British unit equal to 6080 feet (1853.2 meters)
b : an international unit equal to exactly 1852 meters (6076.115 feet or 1.15 statute miles) used officially in the U.S. since July 1, 1954

Examples of nautical mile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sleep on the docks of Betsie Bay less than a nautical mile from Lake Michigan. Elizabeth Hosang, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2022 Its stats are also Bond-worthy: 134 knots maximum cruise, 347 nautical mile range and 4 hours, 13 minutes max flight time. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 24 May 2022 Snorkeling and Diving Roughly half of Channel Islands National Park is underwater, with its boundary stretching a nautical mile out from shore; a zone six nautical miles beyond that is protected as a national marine sanctuary. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, 23 June 2021 Equivalent to one minute of latitude in navigational charts, a nautical mile (1.15 miles), is an international measurement standard typically used for traversing distances long enough that the curvature of the Earth begins to play a factor. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 4 Dec. 2021 The supply chain crisis is poised to roll back a decade of progress on reducing shipping’s carbon intensity, the measure of how much CO2 is emitted for every nautical mile a ton of cargo travels, as well as increasing overall emissions. Aurora Almendral, Quartz, 1 Dec. 2021 The turbines will be one nautical mile apart, too close together for some boats to navigate safely. Celina Tebor, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Federal regulators have adjusted spacing between turbines to one nautical mile to create wider lanes for fishing and other boats, but Mr. Eskridge, 54, worries that the turbines could hurt his catch. New York Times, 7 June 2021 The Russian Navy’s Kareliya, parked one nautical mile away from U.S. territorial waters, had a front row seat when two U.S. air defense missiles failed to intercept a simulated ballistic missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 2 June 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of nautical mile

1830, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nautical mile was in 1830

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Dictionary Entries Near nautical mile


nautical mile

nautical planisphere

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Cite this Entry

“Nautical mile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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