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

Once the collection is successful, Hayabusa will return to a safe orbital altitude and prepare to go home. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Spacecraft Fire a Bullet at an Asteroid," 21 Feb. 2019 But after the flight, the company posted a flurry of tweets on the altitude and speed of SpaceShip Two. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Richard Branson’s Space-Tourism Company Rockets Out of Atmosphere for First Time," 13 Dec. 2018 But the clouds had to be at very low altitude and consist of very small drops. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "The deserts of Titan have organic dust storms," 4 Oct. 2018 The researchers just have to be sure-footed in icy conditions at high altitude and cross their fingers that the cameras hold up. Adam Popescu, Washington Post, "Tracking one of the world’s most elusive cats," 19 May 2018 Many live at high altitudes, and animal studies show that species living at such elevations tend to be smaller, an apparent evolutionary adaptation to the scarcity of food in those places. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Study of short Peruvians reveals new gene with a major impact on height," 16 May 2018 Given the high altitude and steep face of the mountains, there are few long and easy runs, making the resort ideal for intermediates. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This Austrian Spa and Ski Town Is Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Film," 11 Jan. 2019 At the top, Visich insisted on taking a picture where, despite the altitude and snow, the men stripped to the waist, and the women wore bright sports bras. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 2018 The altitude at Coors Field helps some, but fantasy owners don’t care about how … just how many. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "True fantasy All-Stars sustain their excellence over a full season," 3 July 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

13 May 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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