plane sailing

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

plane sailing (uncountable)

  1. (nautical) A technique for navigation using planar geometry.
    • 1735, Benjamen Martin, A New Compleat and Universal System or Body of Decimal Arithmetick[1], page 318:
      In Plain Sailing, or That by the Plain Chart, the Parts of a Triangle receive new Denominations.
  2. (nautical, proscribed) A technique for navigation using the assumption the Earth is flat.

Usage notes[edit]

The heart of the technique is finding the departure from the results obtained by assuming that the earth's surface is flat. This seems commonly forgotten and a definition often given is "navigation using the assumption that the earth's surface is flat". Justification can be found in The analectic magazine 1817.