Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ceiling

play
noun ceil·ing \ˈsē-liŋ\

Simple Definition of ceiling

  • : the inside surface at the top of a room

  • : an upper limit

  • : the greatest height at which an aircraft can fly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ceiling

  1. 1 a :  the overhead inside lining of a room b :  material used to ceil a wall or roof of a room

  2. 2 :  something thought of as an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy <a ceiling of stars>

  3. 3 a :  the height above the ground from which prominent objects on the ground can be seen and identified b :  the height above the ground of the base of the lowest layer of clouds when over half of the sky is obscured

  4. 4 a :  absolute ceiling b :  service ceiling

  5. 5 :  an upper usually prescribed limit <a ceiling on prices, rents, and wages>

ceilinged

play \-liŋd\ adjective

Examples of ceiling in a sentence

  1. The house has low ceilings.

  2. The airplane has a ceiling of 32,000 feet.



Origin and Etymology of ceiling

Middle English celing, from celen


First Known Use: 1535

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms

Rhymes with ceiling



CEILING Defined for Kids

ceiling

play
noun ceil·ing \ˈsē-liŋ\

Definition of ceiling for Students

  1. 1 :  the overhead inside surface of a room

  2. 2 :  the greatest height at which an airplane can fly properly

  3. 3 :  the height above the ground of the bottom of the lowest layer of clouds

  4. 4 :  an upper limit <a ceiling on prices>



History for ceiling

As we now line a coat with a lining, we also used to ceil a room with a ceiling. The verb ceil, however, is now very seldom used on its own. Originally to ceil was to cover the surfaces of a room—both above and on the sides—with a coating of plaster or with carved panels. Ceiling could once mean nearly the same as “paneling,” but the only sense we now use refers only to what is overhead in a room.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ceiling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

frenetic melancholy lazy philistine
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ