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noun al·ti·tude \ˈal-tə-ˌtüd also -ˌtyüd\

: the height of something (such as an airplane) above the level of the sea

Full Definition of ALTITUDE

a :  the angular elevation of a celestial object above the horizon
b :  the vertical elevation of an object above a surface (as sea level or land) of a planet or natural satellite
c (1) :  a perpendicular line segment from a vertex of a geometric figure (as a triangle or a pyramid) to the opposite side or the opposite side extended or from a side or face to a parallel side or face or the side or face extended
(2) :  the length of an altitude
:  a high level (as of quality or feeling) <the altitudes of his anger>
a :  vertical distance or extent
b :  position at a height
c :  an elevated region :  eminence —usually used in plural
al·ti·tu·di·nal \ˌal-tə-ˈtü-dən-əl, -ˈtyü-\ adjective
al·ti·tu·di·nous \-dən-əs\ adjective

Examples of ALTITUDE

  1. the air temperature at different altitudes
  2. Some visitors find it difficult to adjust to the city's high altitude.
  3. The plane lost altitude rapidly.

Origin of ALTITUDE

Middle English, from Latin altitudo height, depth, from altus high, deep — more at old
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of ALTITUDE

height, altitude, elevation mean vertical distance either between the top and bottom of something or between a base and something above it. height refers to something measured vertically whether high or low <a wall two meters in height>. altitude and elevation apply to height as measured by angular measurement or atmospheric pressure; altitude is preferable when referring to vertical distance above the surface of the earth or above sea level; elevation is used especially in reference to vertical height on land <fly at an altitude of 10,000 meters> <Denver is a city with a high elevation>.

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith
ALTITUDINAL Defined for Kids


noun al·ti·tude \ˈal-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of ALTITUDE for Kids

:  height above a certain level and especially above sea level
:  the perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the vertex or to the side parallel to the base


Next Word in the Dictionary: altitude–azimuthPrevious Word in the Dictionary: altithermalAll Words Near: altitude
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