1. The horizontal angular distance from a reference direction, usually the northern point of the horizon, to the point where a vertical circle through a celestial body intersects the horizon, usually measured clockwise. Sometimes the southern point is used as the reference direction, and the measurement is made clockwise through 360°.
2. The horizontal angle of an observer's bearing, measured clockwise from a reference direction such as true north.
3. The horizontal angle of a projectile's motion, measured relative to a reference direction such as true north.
[Middle English azimut, from Old French, from Arabic as-sumūt, pl. of as-samt, the way, compass bearing : al-, the + samt, way (from Latin sēmita, path; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
az′i·muthal (-mŭthəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus