from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being or situated at right angles to the horizon; upright.
  • adjective Situated at the vertex or highest point; directly overhead.
  • adjective Anatomy Of or relating to the vertex of the head.
  • adjective Economics Relating to or involving all stages from production to sale.
  • adjective Relating to or composed of elements at different levels, as of society.
  • adjective Medicine Of or relating to transmission of a disease or condition from parent to offspring, either through genetic inheritance or through circumstances occurring between conception and birth.
  • noun Something vertical, as a line, plane, or circle.
  • noun A vertical position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or relating to the vertex; situated at the vertex, apex, or highest point; placed in the zenith, or point in the heavens directly overhead; figuratively, occupying the highest place.
  • Specifically, being in a position or direction perpendicular to the plane of the horizon; upright; plumb.
  • In medicine, of or relating to the vertex, or crown of the head.
  • In zoology and anatomy: Pertaining to or placed on the vertex, or crown of the head; sincipital; coronal: as, vertical stemmata of an insect; vertical eyes of a fish; the vertical crest of some birds is horizontal when not erected.
  • Placed or directed upward or downward; upright or downright; being at right angles with an (actual or assumed) horizon.
  • See circle.
  • In conic sections, a plane passing through the vertex of a cone and through its axis.
  • In perspective, a plane perpendicular to the geometrical plane, passing through the eye, and cutting the perspective plane at right angles.
  • noun A vertical circle, plane, or line.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the vertex; situated at the vertex, or highest point; directly overhead, or in the zenith; perpendicularly above one.
  • adjective Perpendicular to the plane of the horizon; upright; plumb.
  • adjective (Astron. & Geod.) an angle measured on a vertical circle, called an angle of elevation, or altitude, when reckoned from the horizon upward, and of depression when downward below the horizon.
  • adjective (Bot.) such anthers as stand erect at the top of the filaments.
  • adjective (Astron.) an azimuth circle. See under Azimuth.
  • adjective an upright drill. See under Upright.
  • adjective (Mil.) the fire, as of mortars, at high angles of elevation.
  • adjective (Bot.) leaves which present their edges to the earth and the sky, and their faces to the horizon, as in the Australian species of Eucalyptus.
  • adjective a graduated arc attached to an instrument, as a theodolite, for measuring vertical angles.
  • adjective (Dialing), (Conic Sections), (Surv.), (Geom., Drawing, etc.) A line parallel to the sides of a page or sheet, in distinction from a horizontal line parallel to the top or bottom.
  • adjective (Conic Sections), (Projections), (Persp.) The plane passing through the point of sight, and perpendicular to the ground plane, and also to the picture.
  • adjective a sash sliding up and down. Cf. French sash, under 3d Sash.
  • adjective a steam engine having the crank shaft vertically above or below a vertical cylinder.
  • noun rare Vertical position; zenith.
  • noun (Math.) A vertical line, plane, or circle.
  • noun See under Prime, a.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vertex or zenith.
  • noun A vertical geometrical figure; a perpendicular.
  • noun An individual slat in a set of vertical blinds.
  • noun A vertical component of a structure.
  • adjective Along the direction of a plumbline or along a straight line that includes the center of the Earth.
  • adjective In a two dimensional Cartesian co-ordinate system, describing the axis oriented normal (perpendicular, at right angles) to the horizontal axis.
  • adjective marketing Of or pertaining to vertical markets.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something that is oriented vertically
  • adjective upright in position or posture
  • noun a vertical structural member as a post or stake
  • adjective relating to or involving all stages of a business from production to distribution
  • adjective of or relating to different levels in a hierarchy (as levels of social class or income group)
  • adjective at right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin verticālis, overhead, from Latin vertex, vertic-, highest point; see vertex.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word vertical.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.