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3 definitions found
 for Prime meridian
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Prime \Prime\, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl.
     corresponding to the compar. prior former. See Prior, a.,
     Foremost, Former, and cf. Prim, a., Primary,
     1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive;
        primary. "Prime forests." --Tennyson.
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              She was not the prime cause, but I myself. --Milton.
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     Note: In this sense the word is nearly superseded by
           primitive, except in the phrase prime cost.
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     2. First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance;
        as, prime minister. "Prime virtues." --Dryden.
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     3. First in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat;
        a prime quality of cloth.
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     4. Early; blooming; being in the first stage. [Poetic]
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              His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him prime
              In manhood where youth ended.         --Milton.
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     5. Lecherous; lustful; lewd. [Obs.] --Shak.
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     6. Marked or distinguished by a mark (') called a prime mark.
     Note: In this dictionary the same typographic mark is used to
           indicate a weak accent in headwords, and minutes of a
           degree in angle measurements.
           [1913 Webster]
     7. (Math.)
        (a) Divisible by no number except itself or unity; as, 7
            is a prime number.
        (b) Having no common factor; -- used with to; as, 12 is
            prime to 25.
            [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
     Prime and ultimate ratio. (Math.). See Ultimate.
     Prime conductor. (Elec.) See under Conductor.
     Prime factor (Arith.), a factor which is a prime number.
     Prime figure (Geom.), a figure which can not be divided
        into any other figure more simple than itself, as a
        triangle, a pyramid, etc.
     Prime meridian (Astron.), the meridian from which longitude
        is reckoned, as the meridian of Greenwich or Washington.
     Prime minister, the responsible head of a ministry or
        executive government; applied particularly to that of
     Prime mover. (Mech.)
        (a) A natural agency applied by man to the production of
            power. Especially: Muscular force; the weight and
            motion of fluids, as water and air; heat obtained by
            chemical combination, and applied to produce changes
            in the volume and pressure of steam, air, or other
            fluids; and electricity, obtained by chemical action,
            and applied to produce alternation of magnetic force.
        (b) An engine, or machine, the object of which is to
            receive and modify force and motion as supplied by
            some natural source, and apply them to drive other
            machines; as a water wheel, a water-pressure engine, a
            steam engine, a hot-air engine, etc.
        (c) Fig.: The original or the most effective force in any
            undertaking or work; as, Clarkson was the prime mover
            in English antislavery agitation.
     Prime number (Arith.), a number which is exactly divisible
        by no number except itself or unity, as 5, 7, 11.
     Prime vertical (Astron.), the vertical circle which passes
        through the east and west points of the horizon.
     Prime-vertical dial, a dial in which the shadow is
        projected on the plane of the prime vertical.
     Prime-vertical transit instrument, a transit instrument the
        telescope of which revolves in the plane of the prime
        vertical, -- used for observing the transit of stars over
        this circle.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Meridian \Me*rid"i*an\, n. [F. m['e]ridien. See Meridian, a.]
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     1. Midday; noon.
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     2. Hence: The highest point, as of success, prosperity, or
        the like; culmination.
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              I have touched the highest point of all my
              And from that full meridian of my glory
              I haste now to my setting.            --Shak.
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     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.
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     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.
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     Note: 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.
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     Calculated for the meridian of, or fitted to the meridian
     of, or adapted to the meridian of, suited to the local
        circumstances, capabilities, or special requirements of.
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              All other knowledge merely serves the concerns of
              this life, and is fitted to the meridian thereof.
                                                    --Sir M. Hale.
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     First meridian or prime meridian, the meridian from which
        longitudes are reckoned. The meridian of Greenwich is the
        one commonly employed in calculations of longitude by
        geographers, and in actual practice, although in various
        countries other and different meridians, chiefly those
        which pass through the capitals of the countries, are
        occasionally used; as, in France, the meridian of Paris;
        in the United States, the meridian of Washington, etc.
     Guide meridian (Public Land Survey), a line, marked by
        monuments, running North and South through a section of
        country between other more carefully established meridians
        called principal meridians, used for reference in
        surveying. [U.S.]
     Magnetic meridian, a great circle, passing through the
        zenith and coinciding in direction with the magnetic
        needle, or a line on the earth's surface having the same
     Meridian circle (Astron.), an instrument consisting of a
        telescope attached to a large graduated circle and so
        mounted that the telescope revolves like the transit
        instrument in a meridian plane. By it the right ascension
        and the declination of a star may be measured in a single
     Meridian instrument (Astron.), any astronomical instrument
        having a telescope that rotates in a meridian plane.
     Meridian of a globe, or Brass meridian, a graduated
        circular ring of brass, in which the artificial globe is
        suspended and revolves.
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From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  prime meridian
      n 1: meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west
           are reckoned (usually the Greenwich longitude in England)

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