Definition of axis
1a : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate the Earth's axisb : a straight line with respect to which a body or figure is symmetrical the axis of a cone —called also axis of symmetryc : a straight line that bisects at right angles a system of parallel chords of a curve and divides the curve into two symmetrical partsd : one of the reference lines of a coordinate system (see 3coordinate 1a)
2 anatomy a : the second vertebra of the neck on which the head and first vertebra turn as on a pivotb : 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 axisb : 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
Examples of axis in a Sentence
the Earth's axis of rotation
the spin of the Earth on its axis
Recent Examples of axis from the Web
Half a dozen high points, from the Dakotas southward through Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, follow a meandering 1,200-mile axis through vast, open prairies and ranges.
Varys, having been dispatched by the Daenerys Targaryen/Tyrion axis, convinces both to ally with the Mother of Dragons against the Lannisters.
The first, the horizontal axis, is how the state a senator represents voted in the 2016 election.
In the central time zone, the summer solstice will occur tonight (June 20) at 11:24 p.m. That's the point when the sun is at its northernmost peak and its rays shine most directly on the Northern Hemisphere due to the tilting of the planet's axis.
Gut-brain axisThe gut microbiome also plays a role in brain health.
My knife hovered above the sandwich's diagonal axis, as the sins accosted me: One cut would solve them all; a view of PB&J's gooey signature stripes, a pair of stackable triangles that begged to be grabbed and a wide-open spot for the grapes.
In many ways, this process of absorbing one’s surroundings has become the central axis of Recondite’s creative output.
The home strives for eventual grid-disconnection by using battery power, a solar photovoltaic system, and a vertical-axis wind turbine.
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.
Origin and Etymology of axis
Latin, axis, axle; akin to Old English eax axis, axle, Greek axōn, Lithuanian ašis, Sanskrit akṣaḥ
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of Axis
: of or relating to the three powers Germany, Italy, and Japan engaged against the Allied nations in World War II
Recent Examples of axis from the Web
But an Axis-My-India poll for the India Today Group showed the B.J.P. in a statistical dead heat with the alliance, suggesting its opponents have surged in recent weeks.
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.
First Known Use of axis
AXIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of axis for English Language Learners
: the imaginary straight line that something (such as the Earth) turns around
: a straight line that divides a shape evenly into two parts
AXIS Defined for Kids
Definition of axis for Students
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
Medical Definition of axis
1a: a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be thought of as rotatingb: 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 epistropheusb: any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts the cerebrospinal axis the skeletal axisc: axilla
Seen and Heard
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