Definition of alidade in English:


Syllabification: al·i·dade
Pronunciation: /ˈaliˌdād


  • A sighting device or pointer for determining directions or measuring angles, used in surveying and (formerly) astronomy.
    More example sentences
    • A pointer, called an alidade, was pivoted at the centre of the disk.
    • A wide variety of alidades and plane tables are available, both in manual and electronic versions.
    • In the circle an index on the alidades gives the angle that they form with the vertical diameter.


late Middle English: directly or (in modern use) via French and Spanish from Arabic al- ‘iḍāda 'the revolving radius', probably based on ‘aḍud 'upper arm'.

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