noun ceil·ing \ˈsē-liŋ\

: the inside surface at the top of a room

: an upper limit

: the greatest height at which an aircraft can fly

Full Definition of CEILING

a :  the overhead inside lining of a room
b :  material used to ceil a wall or roof of a room
:  something thought of as an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy <a ceiling of stars>
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
:  an upper usually prescribed limit <a ceiling on prices, rents, and wages>
ceil·inged \-liŋd\ adjective

Examples of CEILING

  1. The house has low ceilings.
  2. The airplane has a ceiling of 32,000 feet.

Origin of CEILING

Middle English celing, from celen
First Known Use: 1535

Other Aeronautics/Aerospace Terms

airway, apron, corridor, dirigible, fishtail, flat-hat, vector

Rhymes with CEILING

CEILINGS Defined for Kids


noun ceil·ing \ˈsē-liŋ\

Definition of CEILING for Kids

:  the overhead inside surface of a room
:  the greatest height at which an airplane can fly properly
:  the height above the ground of the bottom of the lowest layer of clouds
:  an upper limit <a ceiling on prices>

Word History of 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.
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