Although "latitude" can just mean "width" or "angular distance," like the lines of latitude on a map, it also means freedom from any strict rules, or the willingness to allow people to think and act how they want to.
Rhymes with "attitude."
("LAT ih tude.")
Part of speech:
(Like “milk,” “rice,” and “education,” uncountable nouns are words for stuff that can’t be broken into exact units. You talk about “some milk,” “the rice,” and “a lot of education,” but you don’t say “a milk,” “three rices,” or “many educations.”
Likewise, talk about “the latitude,” “such latitude,” “a lot of latitude,” “no latitude,” and so on, but don’t say “latitudes.”)
There are different adjective forms that correspond with different meanings of "latitude," including "latitudinary" and "latitudinous." They all sound awkward to me, though, and I don't recommend their use. Also, a latitudinarian is someone who open-mindedly tolerates all kinds of different thinking and behavior.
How to use it:
Talk about defining or interpreting something with latitude, meaning with a broad, unrestrained freedom.
You can give or grant latitude to someone or allow someone latitude, meaning you let them do things their own way or have their own opinions.
And if you have latitude in doing something, or you have latitude to do something, it means you've got the unrestricted freedom to do that your own way.
He holds his employees to strict deadlines, but as for the setting and manner in which they actually do the work, he gives them plenty of latitude.
Sometimes, rules are rules. Other times, there's room for a bit of creative latitude in their interpretation.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "latitude" means when you can explain it without saying "freedom from restraint" or "loosely determined."
Think of a situation in which you prefer to do things your own way, and fill in the blank: "I allow myself plenty of latitude when/as/while/during _____."
Example: "I allow myself plenty of latitude when executing an art project. The result is never the same as the initial sketch."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, challenge your powers of memory and recall (or just get ready to reign supreme on Wheel of Fortune) as we play with two-word phrases that you’ll find in a dictionary. We’ll start off with easy tasks and advance to harder ones as the month goes on. See the right answer to each question the following day. You might even see a new phrase that inspires your curiosity and makes you look it up. Have fun! (Note: Every dictionary recognizes a different set of two-word phrases. I used the OED to make these game questions.)
What’s a two-word phrase meaning a miscellaneous assortment? Hint: both words have one syllable each.
Try this one today:
What’s a two-word phrase that you might say to mean "flipped around the opposite way"?
A Point Well Made:
C. S. Lewis: "Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite."
1. The opposite of LATITUDE is
2. Students in this school have latitude to _____.
A. succeed on college entrance exams
B. select their own clothes and accessories
C. give oral presentations conforming to certain organization patterns
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.