altitude

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

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, -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective
altitudinous \-​dᵊn-​əs \ 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

The logs indicate that various maintenance procedures were performed, but issues related to airspeed and altitude continued on each successive flight. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Lion Air Black Box Shows Pilots Tried to Fight Automatic Controls," 28 Nov. 2018 Shortly after take-off, as the aircraft approached an altitude of 1,000 feet, the flight data shows the aircraft dipped out of its climb. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Black box data shows pilots fought control system in Indonesia crash," 28 Nov. 2018 Drinking or taking sleeping pills on flights can lead to unpredictable behaviors, especially because your body may react to those differently given the atypical altitude and pressurization of an airplane cabin. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes," 2 Nov. 2018 The crew had recorded problems reading the instruments that track airspeed and altitude. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "How Could a Brand New Boeing Jet Crash Without Warning?," 31 Oct. 2018 Sounding rockets fly for up to about half an hour and never reach high enough altitudes to stably orbit Earth. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "NASA Will Launch 2 Rockets to Test a Mars Parachute and Track 'Nanoflares'," 6 Sep. 2018 Next, there would have to be some means of compressing the air supply to achieve oxygen molecule densities on par with sea level (as opposed to Everest's high-altitude death zone). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Insect-inspired microfluidics could help Ant-Man and the Wasp breathe," 18 Nov. 2018 Above that is the stratosphere, the domain of aircraft and high-altitude balloons. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Group of Scientists Want to Launch a Satellite to Make an Artificial Aurora," 29 Oct. 2018 This has sparked something like a new space race, featuring satellites, high-altitude balloons, drones, even lasers. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, "The Web, Worldwide," 19 Oct. 2018

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

9 Dec 2018

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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, -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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