nautical mile

(nmi, naut mi, n mile, or NM)
   a unit of distance used primarily at sea and in aviation. The nautical mile is defined to be the average distance on the Earth's surface represented by one minute of latitude. This may seem odd to landlubbers, but it makes good sense at sea, where there are no mile markers but latitude can be measured. Because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, it is not easy to measure the length of the nautical mile in terms of the statute mile used on land. For many years the British set the nautical mile at 6080 feet (1853.188 meters), exactly 800 feet longer than a statute mile; this unit was called the Admiralty mile. Until 1954 the U.S. nautical mile was equal to 6080.20 feet (1853.249 meters). In 1929 an international conference in Monaco redefined the nautical mile to be exactly 1852 meters or 6076.115 49 feet, a distance known as the international nautical mile. The international nautical mile equals about 1.1508 statute miles. There are usually 3 nautical miles in a league. The unit is designed to equal 1/60 degree2, although actual degrees of latitude vary from about 59.7 to 60.3 nautical miles. (Note: using data from the Geodetic Reference System 1980, the "true" length of a nautical mile would be 1852.216 meters.)

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.

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  • nautical mile — ➔ mile * * * nautical mile UK US noun [C] (also sea mile) MEASURES, TRANSPORT ► a unit of distance used at sea which is equal to 1852 metres or 1.15 miles …   Financial and business terms

  • nautical mile — Nautical Nau tic*al, a. [L. nauticus, Gr. naytiko s, fr. nay ths a seaman, sailor, fr. nay^s ship: cf. F. nautique. See {Nave} of a church.] Of or pertaining to seamen, to the art of navigation, or to ships; as, nautical skill. [1913 Webster] Syn …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nautical mile — Mile Mile (m[imac]l), n. [AS. m[=i]l, fr. L. millia, milia; pl. of mille a thousand, i. e., milia passuum a thousand paces. Cf. {Mill} the tenth of a cent, {Million}.] A certain measure of distance, being equivalent in England and the United… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nautical mile — nautical miles N COUNT A nautical mile is a unit of measurement used at sea. It is equal to 1852 metres …   English dictionary

  • Nautical Mile —   [ nɔːtɪkl maɪl], englische Bezeichnung für Seemeile …   Universal-Lexikon

  • nautical mile — n a unit for measuring distance at sea, equal to about 1.15 miles or 1852 metres …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • nautical mile — noun count a unit for measuring distances on the ocean, equal to 6080 feet or 1852 meters …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • nautical mile — ► NOUN ▪ a unit used in measuring distances at sea, equal to 1,852 metres (approximately 2,025 yards) …   English terms dictionary

  • nautical mile — n. any of various units of distance for sea and air navigation: in the U.S. since 1959, an international unit of length, equal to one minute of arc of a great circle of the earth or 6,076.12 feet or 1.1508 miles (1,852 meters or 1.852 kilometers) …   English World dictionary

  • Nautical mile — 1 nautical mile = SI units 1.85200 km 1,852.00 m US customary / Imperial units 1.15078 mi 6,076.12 ft The nautical mile (symbol M, NM or nmi) is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along a …   Wikipedia

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