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

Most climbers who are vulnerable to hypoxia at high altitudes will feel it here. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Everything you need to know to climb Mount Shasta ahead of a sensational summer season," 7 June 2019 The departing flights were also found to be leaving the airport at lower altitudes than before. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "Neighbors pressure Hollywood Burbank Airport officials to fix flight paths," 4 June 2019 With many of their missions involving low-level bombing raids on air strips and Scud missiles sights, sometimes at altitudes sometimes as low as 50 feet, the air crews had no place to hide. Mark Smith, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Panavia Tornado Is Such a Badass Plane," 10 Apr. 2019 Discovered by a local Buddhist monk, the fossil shows these archaic human relatives lived on the roof of the world in the rarefied air at almost 11,000 feet—an altitude that would leave many people today starved for oxygen. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Fossil Points to a Vanished Human Species in Himalayas," 1 May 2019 Take a closer look at her high altitude, high impact looks below. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Rosalía Gives Flamenco Style a Reggaeton Makeover in Her New Video," 28 Mar. 2019 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

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

10 Jun 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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