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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from navigation

navigational \ ˌna-​və-​ˈgā-​shnəl How to pronounce navigation (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The navigation of the website was smooth and straightforward. Dallas News, "Student journalists win 30th annual Dallas Morning News awards for pandemic, social justice reporting," 4 May 2021 The main navigation of the site continued to mirror the newspaper; plus, Sports and Personal Journal. WSJ, " Turns 25," 29 Apr. 2021 True navigation is the ability to reach a distant destination without the aid of landmarks. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "Why Animals Don’t Get Lost," 29 Mar. 2021 But getting there has never been easy, especially the navigation through Mexico’s lawlessness. New York Times, "A Violent End to a Desperate Dream Leaves a Guatemalan Town Grieving," 21 Mar. 2021 Just go to Google Maps, enter your destination on the map and click the button for directions and then click Start to begin the navigation. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Giving mom some peace of mind," 22 Apr. 2021 Ingenuity only collected black-and-white images with its navigation camera during the first flight. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The Ingenuity helicopter is attempting to take color images of Mars on its second, riskier flight," 22 Apr. 2021 In the late 1800s, people started to build a network of levees along the river’s southern reaches to reduce flooding and ease navigation. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Rerouting the Mississippi River could build new land—and save a retreating coast," 22 Apr. 2021 The touch-sensitive navigation ends up being far too fiddly for just picking up and clicking around. Anthony Karcz, Forbes, "The Best TV And Movie Streamers: Apple TV vs Roku vs Amazon Fire TV vs TiVo Stream," 21 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler for navigation

Time Traveler

The first known use of navigation was in 1547

See more words from the same year

Statistics for navigation

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Navigation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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