altitude

noun
al·​ti·​tude | \ ˈal-tə-ˌtüd also -ˌtyüd How to pronounce altitude (audio) \

Definition of altitude

1a : the vertical elevation of an object above a surface (such as sea level or land) of a planet or natural satellite
b : the angular elevation of a celestial object above the horizon
c(1) : a perpendicular line segment from a vertex (see vertex sense 2a) of a geometric figure (such 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
2a : vertical distance or extent
b : position at a height The plane lost altitude.
c : an elevated region : eminence usually used in plural
3 : a high level (as of quality or feeling) the altitudes of his anger

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Other Words from altitude

altitudinal \ ˌal-​tə-​ˈtü-​dᵊn-​əl How to pronounce altitudinal (audio) , -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
altitudinous \ -​dᵊn-​əs How to pronounce altitudinous (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for altitude

Synonyms

elevation, height, inches, stature

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of altitude in a Sentence

the air temperature at different altitudes Some visitors find it difficult to adjust to the city's high altitude. The plane lost altitude rapidly.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Look East As with the ISS, currently in orbit around Earth at an altitude of 400km, China is pointedly excluded from involvement in building Gateway. The Economist, "Is it time to go back to the Moon?," 18 July 2019 Right on time, at 4:05 p.m., the lander's engine fired up at an altitude of 50,000 feet. William Harwood, CBS News, "50 years later, Apollo 11's "one giant leap" remains a defining moment in human history," 14 July 2019 Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail, which gained national trail status in 2006, is a spider web of paths draped across a red rock mesa, with more than 20 miles of trails at an altitude of 5,200 feet. James Murren, latimes.com, "At Utah's Gooseberry Mesa, the joy and power of wilderness prevail," 13 July 2019 Many of the drivers slept in their cars to prevent robberies, braving the frigid weather at an altitude of 7,500 feet. Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, "A Fuel Shortage Is Crippling Agriculture in Venezuela," 6 July 2019 After reaching an altitude of six miles, the spacecraft’s abort sequence triggered. Fox News, "Watch NASA launch its Orion Moon capsule atop a missile in spectacular safety test," 3 July 2019 The balloons can fly at altitudes of more than 75,000 feet. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "'No explanation': Flying objects over Kansas City leave locals suspecting aliens," 21 June 2019 The Triton is optimized to fly over maritime environments, surveying large swathes of oceans, coastlines, or land from altitudes of up to 56,000 feet with the capability to direct its attention to specific points of interest below. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Closer Look at the MQ-4 Triton, the Recon Drone Iran Just Shot Down," 20 June 2019 The 440 British gliders sailed in broad daylight from an altitude of 2,500 feet, all the while subject to heavy German fire. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, "‘Four Hours of Fury’ Review: A Dangerous Descent," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'altitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of altitude

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for altitude

Middle English, from Latin altitudo height, depth, from altus high, deep — more at old

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Statistics for altitude

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for altitude

The first known use of altitude was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for altitude

altitude

noun

English Language Learners Definition of altitude

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

altitude

noun
al·​ti·​tude | \ ˈal-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce altitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd\

Kids Definition of altitude

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

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Comments on altitude

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