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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
dead reckoning
▪ Most of our navigation was pure pilotage and dead reckoning over unfamiliar, sometimes hostile territory and some very bad weather.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
dead reckoning

Reckoning \Reck"on*ing\, n.

  1. The act of one who reckons, counts, or computes; the result of reckoning or counting; calculation. Specifically:

    1. An account of time.

    2. Adjustment of claims and accounts; settlement of obligations, liabilities, etc.

      Even reckoning makes lasting friends, and the way to make reckonings even is to make them often.

      He quitted London, never to return till the day of a terrible and memorable reckoning had arrived.

  2. The charge or account made by a host at an inn.

    A coin would have a nobler use than to pay a reckoning.

  3. Esteem; account; estimation.

    You make no further reckoning of it [beauty] than of an outward fading benefit nature bestowed.
    --Sir P. Sidney.

  4. (Navigation)

    1. The calculation of a ship's position, either from astronomical observations, or from the record of the courses steered and distances sailed as shown by compass and log, -- in the latter case called dead reckoning (see under Dead); -- also used for dead reckoning in contradistinction to observation.

    2. The position of a ship as determined by calculation.

      To be out of her reckoning, to be at a distance from the place indicated by the reckoning; -- said of a ship.

      day of reckoning the day or time when one must pay one's debts, fulfill one's obligations, or be punished for one's transgressions.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
dead reckoning

"ascertaining the position of a ship by measurement of the distance run," 1610s, might be from nautical abbreviation ded. ("deduced") in log books, but it also fits dead (adj.) in the sense of "unrelieved, absolute."

dead reckoning

n. A method of estimating the position of a ship or aircraft by applying estimates of the distance and direction travelled to a previously known position. In respect to ships/boats, it excludes the effect of wind and current on the vessel. Compare with estimated position. Abbreviation: DR

dead reckoning
  1. n. an estimate based on little or no information [syn: guess, guesswork, guessing, shot]

  2. navigation without the aid of celestial observations

Dead reckoning

In navigation, dead reckoning or dead-reckoning (also ded for deduced reckoning or DR) is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course. The corresponding term in biology, used to describe the processes by which animals update their estimates of position or heading, is path integration.

Dead reckoning is subject to cumulative errors. Advances in navigational aids that give accurate information on position, in particular satellite navigation using the Global Positioning System, have made simple dead reckoning by humans obsolete for most purposes. However, inertial navigation systems, which provide very accurate directional information, use dead reckoning and are very widely applied.

By analogy with their navigational use, the words dead reckoning are also used to mean the process of estimating the value of any variable quantity by using an earlier value and adding whatever changes have occurred in the meantime. Often, this usage implies that the changes are not known accurately. The earlier value and the changes may be measured or calculated quantities.

There is speculation on the origin of the term, but no reliable information.

Dead Reckoning (disambiguation)

Dead reckoning is a process for estimating the value of a variable quantity by using a previous value and adding any changes.

Dead Reckoning may also refer to:

Dead Reckoning (1947 film)

Dead Reckoning is a 1947 Columbia Pictures film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott and featuring Morris Carnovsky. The picture was directed by John Cromwell and written by Steve Fisher and Oliver H.P. Garrett based on a story by Gerald Drayson Adams and Sidney Biddell.

Dead Reckoning (novel)

Dead Reckoning is a 2011 New York Times Bestselling gothic romance novel by Charlaine Harris and is the eleventh book in her Southern Vampire Mysteries series. The book was released on May 3, 2011 by Ace Books and deals with Sookie discovering more about her heritage and dealing with more supernatural difficulties.

Dead Reckoning (1990 film)

Dead Reckoning was a 1990 television film, directed by Robert Michael Lewis, starring Cliff Robertson, Rick Springfield, and Susan Blakely. The film score was composed by Mark Snow. The film was featured on USA Up All Night.

Dead Reckoning (album)

Dead Reckoning is the eighth studio album (and fifteenth overall) by progressive metal band Threshold. It is their first album since the departure of founding member Nick Midson and the last to feature long time vocalist Andrew "Mac" McDermott. It is also the only one to feature guest vocals (provided by Dan Swanö on two tracks) and their first album on their current label, Nuclear Blast. The song "Pilot in the Sky of Dreams" appeared on the 2008 film soundtrack In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.

Before settling on the final title, the album had the working title of "Pilot in the Sky of Dreams".

Many of the songs on the album use extensive flight and aviation metaphors. Some of these are conveyed in the titles of the songs (e.g. Slipstream, Pilot in the Sky of Dreams, Safe to Fly). This theme is reinforced by the album's title, a reference to the early aviation practice of dead reckoning as a way of navigating through estimation of a current position based on a past position, a direction, and a speed.

Usage examples of "dead reckoning".

I haven't but a small notion where we are, going by dead reckoning.

Took her out into the South China Sea and ran in circles for a while so she couldn't even use dead reckoning.

Then, if Bischoff has kept careful records of their speed and course, dead reckoning will tell them approximately where they are, and enable them to run down the Palawan Passage in the night, or to cut west across the South China Sea if that seems like a good idea.

Even Bush could follow the simple steps necessary to plot the ship's course by dead reckoning since noon yesterday.

But I knew his dead reckoning couldn't be exact in these conditions.