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[ih-kwey-ter] /ɪˈkweɪ tər/

the great circle on a sphere or heavenly body whose plane is perpendicular to the axis, equidistant everywhere from the two poles of the sphere or heavenly body.
the great circle of the earth that is equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole.
a circle separating a surface into two congruent parts.
the great circle of the earth with a latitude of 0°, lying equidistant from the poles; dividing the N and S hemispheres
a circle dividing a sphere or other surface into two equal symmetrical parts
See magnetic equator
(astronomy) See celestial equator

late 14c., from Medieval Latin aequator diei et noctis “equalizer of day and night” (when the sun is on the celestial equator, twice annually, day and night are of equal length), agent noun from Latin aequare “make equal” (see equate). Sense of “celestial equator” is earliest, extension to “terrestrial line midway between the poles” first recorded in English 1610s.

An imaginary circle around the Earth, equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole.


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