- great circle
__noun__a circular line on the surface of a sphere formed by intersecting it with a plane passing through the center•__Hypernyms__: ↑line•__Hyponyms__:↑celestial equator, ↑equinoctial circle, ↑equinoctial line, ↑equinoctial, ↑ecliptic, ↑equator, ↑horizon, ↑celestial horizon, ↑hour circle, ↑meridian, ↑line of longitude, ↑vertical circle* * *

*noun***:**a circle formed on the surface of a sphere by the intersection of a plane that passes through the center of the sphere;*specifically***:**such a circle on the surface of the earth of which an arc constitutes the shortest distance between any two terrestrial points — compare small circle* * *

1. a circle on a spherical surface such that the plane containing the circle passes through the center of the sphere. Cf.**small circle**.2. a circle of which a segment represents the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the earth.[1585-95]* * *

**great circle**nounA circle on the surface of a sphere whose centre is the centre of the sphere• • •Main Entry: ↑great* * *

**great circle**,**1.**any circle on the surface of a sphere having its plane passing through the center of the sphere. The equator is one of the great circles of the earth.**2.**an arc of such a circle; the line of shortest distance between two points on the earth's surface.* * *

__n.__a circle on the surface of a sphere that lies in a plane passing through the sphere's center. As it represents the shortest distance between any two points on a sphere, a great circle of the earth is the preferred route taken by a ship or aircraft

*Useful english dictionary.
2012.*