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
In 1999 Pakistani troops captured some mountain peaks in the Kargil region, which India clawed back in high-altitude battles.
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry report found the plane crashed in an area just 200 feet higher than the Ndola airfield’s altitude.
Big Western peaks like Gannett in Wyoming, Granite in Montana and Borah in Idaho would require high altitude conditioning and technical mountaineering expertise.
The refueling was meant to test the F-35's ability to take on fuel at a heavier weight and higher altitude while using afterburners.
Project Mogul was conducted out of Washington, D.C. and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, with some high-altitude balloon launches taking place in the high desert near the state’s border with Texas.
The test, as well as demonstrating greater range, could have been designed to gain additional knowledge of the engineering requirements of warhead-carrying re-entry vehicles by flying for longer and at higher altitude.
JHO went airborne last month, although for only a few minutes at low altitude.
The Andes give Mendoza its altitude, with some of its best vineyards rising to roughly 3,000 feet in elevation, and others soaring past 5,000 feet, providing a sunny, dry climate with cool nights.
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.
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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