Lon"gi*tude (?), n. [F., fr. L. longitudo, fr. longus long.]
Length; measure or distance along the longest line; -- distinguished from breadth or thickness; as, the longitude of a room; rare now, except in a humorous sense.
Sir H. Wotton.
The longitude of their cloaks.
Sir. W. Scott.
Mine [shadow] spindling into longitude immense.
The arc or portion of the equator intersected between the meridian of a given place and the meridian of some other place from which longitude is reckoned, as from Greenwich, England, or sometimes from the capital of a country, as from Washington or Paris. The longitude of a place is expressed either in degrees or in time; as, that of New York is 74° or 4 h. 56 min. west of Greenwich.
The distance in degrees, reckoned from the vernal equinox, on the ecliptic, to a circle at right angles to the ecliptic passing through the heavenly body whose longitude is designated; as, the longitude of Capella is 79°.
Geocentric longitude Astron., the longitude of a heavenly body as seen from the earth. -- Heliocentric longitude, the longitude of a heavenly body, as seen from the sun's center. -- Longitude stars, certain stars whose position is known, and the data in regard to which are used in observations for finding the longitude, as by lunar distances.
© Webster 1913.