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meridian

meridian a circle of constant longitude passing through a given place on the earth's surface and the terrestrial poles; in astronomy, a circle passing through the celestial poles and the zenith of a given place on the earth's surface.

Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes via Old French from Latin meridianum (neuter, used as a noun) ‘noon’, from medius ‘middle’ + dies ‘day’. The use in astronomy is due to the fact that the sun crosses a meridian at noon.

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Meridian

Meridian (mərĬd´ēən), city (1990 pop. 41,036), seat of Lauderdale co., E Miss., near the Ala. line; settled 1831, inc. 1860. It is an important rail and highway point and the trade and shipping center for a farm, livestock, and timber area. There is also diverse manufacturing. In the Civil War, Meridian was the temporary capital of Mississippi (1863); it was destroyed by General Sherman in Feb., 1864. Meridian Naval Air Station is to the north. Nearby Okatibbee Reservoir offers recreational activities.

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prime meridian

prime meridian, meridian that is designated zero degree (0°) longitude, from which all other longitudes are measured. By international convention, it passes through the original site of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England; for this reason, it is sometimes called the Greenwich meridian. Universal time, the standard basis for determining time throughout the world, is civil time measured at the prime meridian.

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meridian

meridian
A. † midday XIV; point of sun's or star's highest altitude XV;

B. great circle of the earth or a celestial sphere XIV; individual locality XVI; adj. XIV. — (O)F. méridien or L. merīdiānus, f. mērīdiēs, nom. f. loc. merīdiē, by dissim. from *mediei diē at midday.
So meridional XIV. — F. — late L.

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meridian

meridian. Line running north–south, i.e. where the great circle passing through the poles reaches the earth's surface. Some meridians have been marked on church floors (e.g. Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, and Santa Maria degli Angeli, Rome), complete with signs of the zodiac and graduations.

Bibliography

W. Papworth (1852)

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Meridian

Me·rid·i·an / məˈridēən/ 1. a city in southwestern Idaho, west of Boise; pop. 34,919. 2. a city in eastern Mississippi; pop. 39,968.

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meridian

meridian Circle that runs through the North and South Poles, at right angles to the Equator. See also longitude

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meridian

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•Carthusian, Malthusian, Venusian

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meridian

me·rid·i·an / məˈridēən/ • n. 1. a circle of constant longitude passing through a given place on the earth's surface and the terrestrial poles. ∎  (also celestial meridian) Astron. a circle passing through the celestial poles and the zenith of a given place on the earth's surface. 2. (in acupuncture and Chinese medicine) each of a set of pathways in the body along which vital energy is said to flow. There are twelve such pathways associated with specific organs. • adj. relating to or situated at a meridian: the meridian moon. ∎ poetic/lit. of noon. ∎ poetic/lit. of the period of greatest splendor, vigor, etc.

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