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adjective ver·ti·cal \ˈvər-ti-kəl\

Simple Definition of vertical

  • : positioned up and down rather than from side to side : going straight up

  • : having a structure in which there are top, middle, and bottom levels

Full Definition of vertical

  1. 1 a :  situated at the highest point :  directly overhead or in the zenith b of an aerial photograph :  taken with the camera pointing straight down or nearly so

  2. 2 a :  perpendicular to the plane of the horizon or to a primary axis :  upright b (1) :  located at right angles to the plane of a supporting surface (2) :  lying in the direction of an axis :  lengthwise

  3. 3 a :  relating to, involving, or integrating economic activity from basic production to point of sale <a vertical monopoly> b :  of, relating to, or comprising persons of different status <the vertical arrangement of society>

vertical noun
ver·ti·cal·i·ty play \ˌvər-tə-ˈka-lə-tē\ noun
ver·ti·cal·ly play \ˈvər-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
ver·ti·cal·ness play \-kəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of vertical

  1. a shirt with vertical stripes

  2. the vertical axis of a graph

Origin of vertical

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin verticalis, from Latin vertic-, vertex

First Known Use: 1559

Synonym Discussion of vertical

vertical, perpendicular, plumb mean being at right angles to a base line. vertical suggests a line or direction rising straight upward toward a zenith <the side of the cliff is almost vertical>. perpendicular may stress the straightness of a line making a right angle with any other line, not necessarily a horizontal one <the parallel bars are perpendicular to the support posts>. plumb stresses an exact verticality determined (as with a plumb line) by earth's gravity <make sure that the wall is plumb>.

Medical Dictionary


adjective ver·ti·cal \ˈvərt-i-kəl\

Medical Definition of vertical

  1. :  relating to or being transmission (as of a disease) by genetic inheritance or by a congenital or perinatal route <vertical transmission of the hepatitis B virus from mother to infant>—compare horizontal 2

  2. ver·ti·cal·ly \ˈvərt-i-k(ə-)lē\play adverb

Seen and Heard

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


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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