Definition of altitude
1a : the vertical elevation of an object above a surface (such as sea level or land) of a planet or natural satelliteb : the angular elevation of a celestial object above the horizonc (1) : a perpendicular line segment from a vertex (see vertex 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 extentb : 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
altitudinalplay \ˌal-tə-ˈtü-dən-əl, -ˈtyü-\ adjective
altitudinousplay \-dən-əs\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of altitude from the Web
Throwing the changeup off his weaker fingers diminishes speed and helps the pitch fade, giving Freeland another weapon to handle the rigors of high altitude.
They were originally designed to serve as long-range, high-altitude intercontinental nuclear bombers that could strike deep into the Soviet Union.
Ivey said doctors determined that the cause of her symptoms was the high altitude in Colorado Springs.
The FAA has rules that govern drone altitude, proximity to airports, and flying over people who are not part of the crew flying the drone.
A recovery team faces the same risks as climbers, including altitude sickness, edema, frostbite, hypothermia as well as accidents and avalanches.
Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers).
The fiber is obtained by sheering alpaca animals, which thrive in the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes.
The Stratofortress was originally designed as a high-altitude, long-haul bomber that could rain thermonuclear bombs on enemy targets if needed.
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.
Origin and Etymology of altitude
Middle English, from Latin altitudo height, depth, from altus high, deep — more at old
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of altitude
ALTITUDE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of altitude for English Language Learners
: the height of something (such as an airplane) above the level of the sea
ALTITUDE Defined for Kids
Definition of altitude for Students
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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