From Middle English, borrowed from Old French, from Latin meridianus (“of or belonging to midday or to the south, southern”), from meridies (“midday, the south”), originally *medidies, from medius (“middle”) + diēs (“day”).
meridian (plural meridians)
- (geography) An imaginary great circle on the Earth's surface, passing through the geographic poles.
- Either half of such a great circle, all points of which have the same longitude.
- (astronomy) A great circle passing through the poles of the celestial sphere and the zenith for a particular observer.
- (mathematics) A similar line on any general surface of revolution.
- (alternative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine) Any of the pathways on the body along which the vital energy is thought to flow and, therefore, the acupoints are distributed.
- The highest point, as of success, prosperity, etc.; culmination.
- 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
- I have touched the highest point of all my greatness, / And from that full meridian of my glory / I haste now to my setting.
- 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Youth and Age. XLII.”, in The Essayes or Covncils, Civill and Moral, […] Newly Written, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, OCLC 863521290; newly enlarged edition, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, […], 1632, OCLC 863527675, pages 247–248:
- (printing, US, dated) The size of type between double great primer and canon, standardized as 44-point.
- (dated) A dram drunk at midday.
meridian (not comparable)
- Meridional; relating to a meridian.
- Relating to noon
- Relating to the highest point or culmination.
- meridian splendour