Share this entry

navigation Line breaks: navi|ga¦tion
Pronunciation: /navɪˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of navigation in English:


[mass noun]
1The process or activity of accurately ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route: Columbus corrected his westward course by celestial navigation
More example sentences
  • Its flight control, navigation and vehicle management are independent and based on a mission plan.
  • Phoenix will be used as a demonstrator for the autonomous navigation and flight-control system used for the final approach and landing of the unmanned vehicle.
  • While on the route, the aircraft practice visual low-level navigation, simulated threat reactions and simulated target attacks.
helmsmanship, steersmanship, seamanship, map-reading, chart-reading
2The passage of ships: transporter bridges to span rivers without hindering navigation
More example sentences
  • Rivers were open to ship navigation at that time.
  • The emphasis is on railway transport, river navigation receiving less attention.
  • As we have seen, however, the practical exercise of a right to arrest ships in passage poses serious dangers to navigation, and it is rarely used as a means of enforcing anti-pollution regulations.
2.1 [count noun] chiefly dialect A navigable inland waterway, especially a canal: most of the navigation from Wormley to Tottenham was frozen
More example sentences
  • He will then embark on a walking history of the town, providing a talk on The Grand Canal and Barrow navigation.
  • Upper Lough Erne is connected by canal to the Shannon navigation system, the largest navigable inland waterway in Europe.
  • The navigation joins the river at Athy, a picturesque town with old warehouses lining the harbour.
3 Computing The action of moving around a website, the Internet, etc.
Example sentences
  • Locate the information you need more quickly and easily using the new intuitive tab navigation on each Web page.
  • A built-in joystick is intended to support gaming and simplify web site navigation.
  • Some users will also need help with Web site navigation skills, including how to find the site online.


Early 16th century (denoting travel on water): from French, or from Latin navigatio(n-), from the verb navigare (see navigate).



Pronunciation: /navɪˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The new free charts must be downloaded into a navigational software program that runs on a personal computer.
  • Her current task is to undertake survey work, updating existing charts and navigational resources.
  • Even the ability to get to the island in the first place requires advanced seafaring and navigational skills!


Example sentences
  • Our first priority is the Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef region because it is navigationally restrictive and an environmentally sensitive area containing major shipping channels, major ports and harbour approaches.
  • Later, Mosquitoes were mostly used and these flew ahead of the main force to mark the targets for those who were less navigationally experienced.
  • You will be navigationally challenged and grateful for a guide.

Definition of navigation in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person