latitude

Use the word latitude to describe how much freedom you have in making choices. For example, if a teacher gives you latitude in writing your paper, you might get to choose the topic and how many sources to include.

Latitude is related to the Latin word latitudo, meaning "breadth, width, extent, size." You might already know that latitude is used to indicate the distance an object is from the equator, measured from north to south. Latitude can also be used to mean "be given the space to act and decide for oneself," like the latitude parents might give responsible kids.

Definitions of latitude
  1. noun
    an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
    synonyms: line of latitude, parallel, parallel of latitude
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    examples:
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    Antarctic Circle
    a line of latitude north of the south pole
    Arctic Circle
    a line of latitude near but to the south of the north pole; it marks the northernmost point at which the sun is visible on the northern winter solstice and the southernmost point at which the midnight sun can be seen on the northern summer solstice
    Tropic of Cancer
    a line of latitude about 23 degrees to the north of the equator
    Tropic of Capricorn
    a line of latitude about 23 degrees to the south of the equator
    types:
    polar circle
    a line of latitude at the north or south poles
    horse latitude
    either of two belts or regions near 30 degrees north or 30 degrees south; characterized by calms and light-baffling winds
    tropic
    either of two parallels of latitude about 23.5 degrees to the north and south of the equator representing the points farthest north and south at which the sun can shine directly overhead and constituting the boundaries of the Torrid Zone or tropics
    type of:
    line
    a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent
  2. noun
    the angular distance between an imaginary line around a heavenly body parallel to its equator and the equator itself
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    type of:
    angular distance
    the angular separation between two objects as perceived by an observer
  3. noun
    freedom from normal restraints in conduct
    “allowed his children considerable latitude in how they spent their money”
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    type of:
    liberty
    freedom of choice
  4. noun
    scope for freedom of e.g. action or thought; freedom from restriction
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    type of:
    ambit, compass, orbit, range, reach, scope
    an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: "the range of a supersonic jet"
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