axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce axes (audio) \

Definition of axis

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate the Earth's axis
b : a straight line with respect to which a body or figure is symmetrical the axis of a cone

called also axis of symmetry

c : a straight line that bisects at right angles a system of parallel chords of a curve and divides the curve into two symmetrical parts
d : one of the reference lines of a coordinate system (see coordinate entry 3 sense 1a)

2 anatomy

a : the second vertebra of the neck on which the head and first vertebra turn as on a pivot
b : any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts
3 botany : a plant stem
4 crystallography : one of several imaginary lines assumed in describing the positions of the planes by which a crystal is bounded and the positions of atoms in the structure of the crystal
5 : a main line of direction, motion, growth, or extension the axis of a city
6a : an implied line in painting or sculpture through a composition to which elements in the composition are referred fruit and flowers arranged about a diagonal axis
b : a line actually drawn and used as the basis of measurements in an architectural or other working drawing
7 aviation : any of three fixed lines of reference in an aircraft that run in the longitudinal, lateral, and vertical directions, are mutually perpendicular, and usually pass through the aircraft's center of gravity
8 : partnership, alliance an axis of countries
9 : a point or continuum on which something centers an axis of social power

Axis

adjective

Definition of Axis (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the three powers Germany, Italy, and Japan engaged against the Allied nations in World War II

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Examples of axis in a Sentence

Noun

the Earth's axis of rotation the spin of the Earth on its axis

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the past two years, the eclipses have been electrifying the Leo-Aquarius axis, encouraging us to reevaluate our relationship with royalty (Leo) and society (Aquarius). Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's August 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 July 2018 Along with audio, a battery, and connectivity components, the Frames have a nine-axis motion sensor. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Bose Is Making Augmented-Reality Sunglasses That Send Sound Right into Your Temple," 4 Dec. 2018 But Justin’s work often has a depth perception along the Z-axis that is nonlinear. Sasha Weiss, New York Times, "Justin Peck Is Making Ballet That Speaks to Our Everyday Lives," 10 May 2018 The robot, or more specifically, a specialized industrial six-axis robotic arm bolted to the kitchen floor, was supposed to work lunchtime shifts at the international burger chain. Peter Holley And Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, "‘Flippy,’ the fast food robot, turned off for being too slow," 9 Mar. 2018 But trading revenues have fallen sharply since the crisis, and Goldman’s axis of power has tilted toward its investment bankers, who broker corporate mergers and underwrite stock and bond offerings. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs’ Next CEO Replaces Finance Chief, Names Top Deputy," 13 Sep. 2018 However, due to tidal forces between our planet and the moon, the natural satellite slowly spirals away from Earth at a rate of about 1.5 inches (3.82 centimeters) per year, causing our planet to rotate more slowly around its axis. Samantha Mathewson, Space.com, "Days on Earth Are Getting Longer, Thanks to the Moon," 5 June 2018 The football is hanging in space with the long axis of the football vertical. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Physicists report electron is round—what does that mean?," 7 Nov. 2018 From a perspective of feel, the main rudder axis is light, smooth, and responsive. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Thrustmaster TPR: The best flight sim pedals you can buy in a store like a normal person," 23 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'axis.' 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 axis

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axis

Noun

Latin, axis, axle; akin to Old English eax axis, axle, Greek axōn, Lithuanian ašis, Sanskrit akṣaḥ

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Statistics for axis

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for axis

The first known use of axis was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for axis

axis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of axis

: the imaginary straight line that something (such as the Earth) turns around
: a straight line that divides a shape evenly into two parts

axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ ˈak-​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of axis

1 : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be thought of as rotating the earth's axis
2 : a line of reference used to assign numbers to locations in a geometric plane

axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce axes (audio) \

Medical Definition of axis

1a : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be thought of as rotating
b : a straight line with respect to which a body, organ, or figure is symmetrical
2a : the second vertebra of the neck of the higher vertebrates that is prolonged anteriorly within the foramen of the first vertebra and united with the dens which serves as a pivot for the atlas and head to turn upon

called also epistropheus

b : any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts the cerebrospinal axis the skeletal axis
c : axilla

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More from Merriam-Webster on axis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with axis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for axis

Spanish Central: Translation of axis

Nglish: Translation of axis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of axis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about axis

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