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

One solution under study by military officials is the use of drones, which fly at a lower altitude, preventing chemicals from drifting and destroying legal crops. Cesar Garcia, Fox News, "UN says Colombia's coca production surges to record high," 19 Sep. 2018 About three or four times per year, Oregon wildlife officials would ride in a helicopter, flying at a low altitude to find large groups of feral pigs. Kyle Spurr, The Seattle Times, "Feral swine population plummets in Oregon," 30 July 2018 The $280 million 787-9 Dreamliner is also passenger friendly as the cabin provides more humidity and is pressurized at a lower altitude than other planes. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "Why flying a Dreamliner makes the Houston-Sydney flight possible," 2 Feb. 2018 Colonial National Historical Park, in Virginia, allows scattering by air but from a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet and not over developed areas or bodies of water. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Air Force sergeant posted video of her rant about black subordinates. Now she's suspended.," 31 Jan. 2018 From here, Barclays should start leveling off into its cruising altitude, but Deutsche is still struggling to get out of its tail spin. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Barclays Cruises While Deutsche Bank Spins," 24 Oct. 2018 Clearing the western horizon at an altitude of 10 degrees (the width of your fist held at arm's length) will be Venus, appearing absolutely dazzling at a magnitude of -4.2. Joe Rao, Space.com, "The Moon Has a Close Encounter with Saturn on Tuesday Night," 23 July 2018 The plane swerved and then plunged from its cruising altitude to about 10,000 feet, according to CBS News, before disappearing from radar. Michael Sebastian, Popular Mechanics, "EgyptAir MS804 Crash: Everything We Know So Far," 20 May 2016 Missile-defense advocates think more modern solid state and fiber lasers fired from higher altitudes could do the trick. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Wars' Lite? We Explain Trump's Missile Defense Strategy," 17 Jan. 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

18 Mar 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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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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