nav·​i·​ga·​tion | \ ˌna-və-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce navigation (audio) \

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

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Other Words from navigation

navigational \ ˌna-​və-​ˈgā-​shnəl How to pronounce navigational (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web If your navigation system contains emergency calling, enable that as well, Connelly said. Los Angeles Times, "After the coronavirus: Your next road trip may look like this," 5 May 2020 Beijing expects the size of its satellite navigation industry to surpass 400 billion yuan ($57 billion) this year, with BeiDou contributing the vast majority of that value. Popular Science, "China’s version of GPS is almost complete. Here’s what that means.," 31 Mar. 2020 China has installed equipment in Antarctica related to its satellite-navigation system, Beidou—which since this year has been operating more satellites than its American equivalent, GPS. The Economist, "The voyage of two icebreakers have been creating headlines in China," 28 Nov. 2019 The Beidou satellite navigation system, comprising 35 location satellites, is due to go fully online in 2020, becoming a genuine rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System, which currently has 31 operational satellites. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "China Pushes for Primacy in Space," 31 Dec. 2018 In their place, however, the insect appears to have sprouted some especially elongated antennae, perhaps to funnel its powers of navigation to the sense of touch. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Oldest Known Cave-Dwellers Are 99-Million-Year-Old Cockroaches," 27 Feb. 2020 Researchers studied 31 years of data on gray whale stranding in an attempt to determine more about how right whales navigate and if their method of navigation causes them to strand. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Why solar storms from space may blind and strand whales," 24 Feb. 2020 This was an era before mobile, so there was no notion of navigation. Lauren Goode, Wired, "Google Maps's Jen Fitzpatrick Says the Future of Maps Goes Beyond Driving," 6 Feb. 2020 The problem with this sort of navigation is that wind currents are shifty things. Alex Davies, WIRED, "How Loon's Balloons Find Their Way to Deliver the Internet," 23 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of navigation

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for navigation

Time Traveler

The first known use of navigation was in 1547

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Statistics for navigation

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Navigation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce navigation (audio)

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 How to pronounce navigation (audio) \

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

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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

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