nav·​i·​ga·​tion | \ˌna-və-ˈgā-shən \

Definition of navigation 

1 : the act or practice of navigating

2 : the science of getting ships, aircraft, or spacecraft from place to place especially : the method of determining position, course, and distance traveled

3 : ship traffic or commerce

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from navigation

navigational \ˌna-​və-​ˈgā-​shnəl, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
navigationally adverb

Examples of navigation in a Sentence

If you're going to be a good sailor you need to master navigation. I don't mind driving if you're willing to do the navigation. Our new car has an onboard navigation system. Navigation becomes more difficult further upriver. There are back and forward buttons for easier browser navigation.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Presenting varying traffic speeds as well as an ongoing construction project, the route, which isn’t served by any other transit service, offers a test case for the navigation system. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Autonomous shuttle tech gets test run in Ohio," 23 Oct. 2018 More cars now come with navigation systems that are updated remotely and automatically. Matt O'brien, The Seattle Times, "Can apps like Waze steer you clear of disaster? Maybe not," 17 Sep. 2018 This probably involves an even larger fuel tank, and perhaps improvements to the inertial navigation system to keep the missile on track. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "America's Next Cruise Missile Will Strike From 1,000 Miles Away," 12 Sep. 2018 Dives will take place throughout the day and night and guests will participate by using the undersea navigation system and helping with underwater communication, according to The Telegraph. Kate Storey, ELLE Decor, "Soon, You'll Be Able To Dive The Wreckage Of The Titanic," 15 Mar. 2017 The button on the bottom is responsible for much of the navigation, including back, home, and recents, while the power button summons Google Assistant. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "The new Palm phone is basically a Verizon-exclusive smart pocket watch running Android Oreo," 15 Oct. 2018 The exercise followed operations in the region by British and French forces and repeated moves by the U.S. Navy to reinforce freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Chieko Tsuneoka And Peter Landers, WSJ, "Japan Challenges China With Submarine Exercise," 17 Sep. 2018 UK Electric Bike Tours offer bike hire along with a navigation app to guide you safely between vineyards. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kent Is Poised to Be the U.K.'s Napa Valley," 14 Sep. 2018 Consider Waze, the GPS navigation app (now owned by Google). David Pogue, Scientific American, "These Apps Don't Exist Yet--but They Should," 15 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of navigation

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about navigation

Share navigation

Statistics for navigation

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for navigation

The first known use of navigation was in 1547

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for navigation



English Language Learners Definition of navigation

: the act, activity, or process of finding the way to get to a place when you are traveling in a ship, airplane, car, etc.

: the act of moving in a boat or ship over an area of water

computers : the act of going to different places on the Internet or on a particular Web site in order to find what you want


nav·​i·​ga·​tion | \ˌna-və-ˈgā-shən \

Kids Definition of navigation

1 : the act or practice of steering, directing the course of, or finding a way through

2 : the science of figuring out the position and course of a ship or aircraft

Other Words from navigation

navigational \-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on navigation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with navigation

Spanish Central: Translation of navigation

Nglish: Translation of navigation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of navigation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about navigation

Comments on navigation

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!