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meridian Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
    superlative; pinnacle; acme; top; height; summit; peak; elevation; tiptop.
    • his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty
    • the artist's gifts are at their acme
    • at the height of her career
    • the peak of perfection
    • summer was at its peak
    • ...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame
    • the summit of his ambition
    • so many highest superlatives achieved by man
    • at the top of his profession
  2. noun a town in eastern Mississippi
  3. noun an imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the north and south poles at right angles to the equator
    line of longitude.
    • all points on the same meridian have the same longitude
  4. adjective of or happening at noon
    • meridian hour
  5. adjective satellite being at the best stage of development
    • our manhood's prime vigor"- Robert Browning

Me*rid"i*an adjective
F. méridien, L. meridianus pertaining to noon, fr. meridies noon, midday, for older medidies; medius mid, middle + dies day. See Mid, and Diurnal.
  1. Being at, or pertaining to, midday; belonging to, or passing through, the highest point attained by the sun in his diurnal course. "Meridian hour." Milton.
    Tables ... to find the altitude meridian. Chaucer.
  2. Pertaining to the highest point or culmination; as, meridian splendor.
Me*rid"i*an noun
F. méridien. See Meridian, a.
  1. Midday; noon.
  2. Hence: The highest point, as of success, prosperity, or the like; culmination.
    I have touched the highest point of all my greatness, And from that full meridian of my glory I haste now to my setting. Shak.
  3. (Astron.) A great circle of the sphere passing through the poles of the heavens and the zenith of a given place. It is crossed by the sun at midday.
  4. (Geog.) A great circle on the surface of the earth, passing through the poles and any given place; also, the half of such a circle included between the poles. ✍ The planes of the geographical and astronomical meridians coincide. Meridians, on a map or globe, are lines drawn at certain intervals due north and south, or in the direction of the poles.
    All other knowledge merely serves the concerns of this life, and is fitted to the meridian thereof. Sir M. Hale.

Webster 1913