zenith distance

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Zenith \Ze"nith\ (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F.
   z['e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt-urras way
   of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras
   head. Cf. Azimuth.]
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   1. That point in the visible celestial hemisphere which is
      vertical to the spectator; the point of the heavens
      directly overhead; -- opposed to nadir.
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            From morn
            To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
            A summer's day; and with the setting sun
            Dropped from the zenith, like a falling star.
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   2. hence, figuratively, the point of culmination; the
      greatest height; the height of success or prosperity.
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            I find my zenith doth depend upon
            A most auspicious star.               --Shak.
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            This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
            And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. --Mrs.
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            It was during those civil troubles . . . this
            aspiring family reached the zenith.   --Macaulay.
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   Zenith distance. (Astron.) See under Distance.

   Zenith sector. (Astron.) See Sector, 3.

   Zenith telescope (Geodesy), a telescope specially designed
      for determining the latitude by means of any two stars
      which pass the meridian about the same time, and at nearly
      equal distances from the zenith, but on opposite sides of
      it. It turns both on a vertical and a horizontal axis, is
      provided with a graduated vertical semicircle, and a level
      for setting it to a given zenith distance, and with a
      micrometer for measuring the difference of the zenith
      distances of the two stars.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Distance \Dis"tance\, n. [F. distance, L. distantia.]
   1. The space between two objects; the length of a line,
      especially the shortest line joining two points or things
      that are separate; measure of separation in place.
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            Every particle attracts every other with a force . .
            . inversely proportioned to the square of the
            distance.                             --Sir I.
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   2. Remoteness of place; a remote place.
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            Easily managed from a distance.       --W. Irving.
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            'T is distance lends enchantment to the view. --T.
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            [He] waits at distance till he hears from Cato.
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   3. (Racing) A space marked out in the last part of a race
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            The horse that ran the whole field out of distance.
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   Note: In trotting matches under the rules of the American
         Association, the distance varies with the conditions of
         the race, being 80 yards in races of mile heats, best
         two in three, and 150 yards in races of two-mile heats.
         At that distance from the winning post is placed the
         distance post. If any horse has not reached this
         distance post before the first horse in that heat has
         reached the winning post, such horse is distanced, and
         disqualified for running again during that race.
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   4. (Mil.) Relative space, between troops in ranks, measured
      from front to rear; -- contrasted with interval, which
      is measured from right to left. "Distance between
      companies in close column is twelve yards." --Farrow.
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   5. Space between two antagonists in fencing. --Shak.
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   6. (Painting) The part of a picture which contains the
      representation of those objects which are the farthest
      away, esp. in a landscape.
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   Note: In a picture, the

   Middle distance is the central portion between the
      foreground and the distance or the extreme distance. In a
      perspective drawing, the

   Point of distance is the point where the visual rays meet.
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   7. Ideal disjunction; discrepancy; contrariety. --Locke.
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   8. Length or interval of time; period, past or future,
      between two eras or events.
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            Ten years' distance between one and the other.
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            The writings of Euclid at the distance of two
            thousand years.                       --Playfair.
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   9. The remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence,
      respect; ceremoniousness.
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            I hope your modesty
            Will know what distance to the crown is due.
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            'T is by respect and distance that authority is
            upheld.                               --Atterbury.
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   10. A withholding of intimacy; alienation; coldness;
       disagreement; variance; restraint; reserve.
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             Setting them [factions] at distance, or at least
             distrust amongst themselves.         --Bacon.
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             On the part of Heaven,
             Now alienated, distance and distaste. --Milton.
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   11. Remoteness in succession or relation; as, the distance
       between a descendant and his ancestor.
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   12. (Mus.) The interval between two notes; as, the distance
       of a fourth or seventh.
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   Angular distance, the distance made at the eye by lines
      drawn from the eye to two objects.

   Lunar distance. See under Lunar.

   North polar distance (Astron.), the distance on the heavens
      of a heavenly body from the north pole. It is the
      complement of the declination.

   Zenith distance (Astron.), the arc on the heavens from a
      heavenly body to the zenith of the observer. It is the
      complement of the altitude.

   To keep one's distance, to stand aloof; to refrain from
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            If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is
            he keeps his at the same time.        --Swift.
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