great circlegreat circle
any circle described on the surface of a sphere by a plane which passes through the center of the sphere; specif., such a circle on the earth's surface: a course (great-circle course) plotted along a great circle of the earth is the shortest route between any two points on the earth's surface
- A circle described by the intersection of the surface of a sphere with a plane passing through the center of the sphere.
- A segment of such a circle representing the shortest distance between two terrestrial points.
a sphere with three great circles shown
(plural great circles)
- great circle route