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

According to federal prosecutors, the men were apprehended in December 2017 after the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton was sent to investigate a suspicious vessel spotted about 100 nautical miles north of Ecuador. San Diego Union-Tribune, "South American trio sentenced in San Diego to prison for cocaine trafficking," 23 Aug. 2019 All nations have jurisdiction over natural resources on the seafloor of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) no more than 200 nautical miles from their coasts. National Geographic, "Arctic Assets," 21 Aug. 2019 Over the course of 40 years, Britannia traveled more than one million nautical miles to 600+ ports in 135 countries. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family Really Travel," 10 Aug. 2019 The same ships have traveled more than 26,000 nautical miles including visits to China and Ecuador, according to the federation. Richard Tribou,, "With no U.S. cruise ships, Cuba welcomes Russian warship," 26 June 2019 With a sleek nose, futuristic aura and 3.8 metric tons of batteries built into the frame, the plane can theoretically fly up to 540 nautical miles (1,046 kilometers), or about the equivalent of a Washington-Chicago flight. Washington Post, "Under pressure, plane industry vows cleaner flight — someday," 20 June 2019 That plane should will be ready for customers in 2023 and be able to fly up to 4,700 nautical miles. CBS News, "Boeing CEO admits "mistake" in handling 737 Max warnings," 17 June 2019 The plane should will be ready for customers in 2023 and be able to fly up to 4,700 nautical miles. Angela Charlton,, "Boeing's 'sorry' for 737 Max crashes draws mixed responses from victims' families, airlines," 17 June 2019 After much fanfare leading up to its maiden voyage, the Swedish ship capsized and sank in 1628, having sailed less than a nautical mile. Jonathan Irish, National Geographic, "10 Experiences You Can Only Have in Scandinavia," 8 Apr. 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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Statistics for nautical mile

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for nautical mile

The first known use of nautical mile was in 1830

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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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to spread over or through

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