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 When the statement was released on May 1, Phoenix Reisen estimated the ship would reach Bremerhaven in early June after completing a trek amounting to about 10,000 nautical miles. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Finally on land: Eight cruise passengers return home after months at sea amid pandemic," 10 June 2020 The light in the 162-foot lighthouse can be seen from up to 18 nautical miles away and rotates in 20-second increments. al, "Experience wild beauty in North Carolina’s Outer Banks," 19 May 2020 Pyongyang also is developing a new line of missile-capable Sinpo-class submarines with a range of up to 1,500 nautical miles. Joby Warrick, Anchorage Daily News, "Ongoing upgrades to North Korean weapons give Kim Jong Un choices for ‘Christmas gift’," 25 Dec. 2019 One proposal to put more organs to use called for eliminating the 58 donation service areas and 11 regions now used to allocate kidneys and replacing them with a zone of up to 500 nautical miles from the donor hospital. NBC News, "Lost luggage: How lifesaving organs for transplant go missing in transit," 8 Feb. 2020 The Coast Guard has been searching more than 4,900 nautical miles as part of a recovery effort. Fox News, "Navy begins search for airman who fell into Gulf," 16 Nov. 2019 Coast Guard air and boat crews spent more than 130 hours on scene and searched more than 4,909 square nautical miles but were unable to locate him. Washington Post, "National Digest: New fire in Hollywood Hills, Calif., comes close to tourist spots," 11 Nov. 2019 Neeleman’s also raised the possibility of longer-distance flying with routes to South America and Europe to take advantage of the plane’s superior range of about 3,500 nautical miles. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "All of the Details We Have on David Neeleman's New Domestic Airline," 1 Oct. 2019 At the time, the cruise ship was about 30 nautical miles (55 kilometers) from New Smyrna Beach, Florida. USA TODAY, "Kansas man admits to strangling girlfriend, pushing her off Carnival cruise ship balcony," 20 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of nautical mile

1830, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nautical mile

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The first known use of nautical mile was in 1830

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Statistics for nautical mile

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nautical mile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for nautical mile

nautical mile


English Language Learners Definition of nautical mile

: a unit of distance equal to 1,852 meters or 1.15 miles that is used for sea and air travel

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