ceil·​ing | \ˈsē-liŋ \

Definition of ceiling 

1a : the overhead inside lining of a room The room has a high ceiling.

b : material used to ceil a wall or roof of a room

2 : something thought of as an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy a ceiling of stars

3a : the height above the ground from which prominent objects on the ground can be seen and identified

b : the height above the ground of the base of the lowest layer of clouds when over half of the sky is obscured

5 : an upper usually prescribed limit a ceiling on prices, rents, and wages

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ceiling

ceilinged \-​liŋd \ adjective

Examples of ceiling in a Sentence

The house has low ceilings. The airplane has a ceiling of 32,000 feet.

Recent Examples on the Web

The archive numbers some 45,000 lasts, all suspended in rows from floor to ceiling along a mobile shelving system. Amy Verner, Vogue, "Vogue Got an Exclusive Tour of Chanel’s Ateliers While Tonight’s Métiers d’Art Collection Was Being Made," 5 Dec. 2018 Adam Wexler, owner of StereoBuyers in Brooklyn, N.Y., once visited an audiophile whose house was packed to the ceiling with speakers, amps and turntables. John Clarke, WSJ, "Addicted to Audio: Why Music Obsessives Blow Their 401Ks Chasing Down Vintage Gear," 18 Oct. 2018 Within minutes, the fire flashed over, filling rooms with flames from floor to ceiling as the temperature approached 1,100 degrees. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 Central to the ceiling is a gridlike sculpture of curved crisscrossed slats and beams. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Stir, in Philadelphia Museum of Art, Prepares for October Opening," 10 July 2018 Five stained cloth draperies are slung from rods attached to the ceiling of the gallery, and seven or so frames present faint photographic images of weedy fields. Charles Desmarais, SFChronicle.com, "Charles Desmarais’ art pick for July 15: Susanne Kriemann’s ‘Canopy, canopy’," 7 July 2018 Floor-to-ceiling glass pocket doors open the main living space to the outdoors, with access to a swimming pool, patio space and a putting green. Neal J. Leitereg, latimes.com, "Home of the Week: Beverly Hills contemporary caters to a leisurely lifestyle," 7 July 2018 Some barriers stretch from floor to ceiling, while others are approximately at head height. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "MBTA wants to put barriers, doors on subway platforms," 5 July 2018 Inside the greenhouse are rows and rows of produce — romaine, kale, bok choy, mustard greens — stretching from front to back and, more unusually, from the floor to nearly the ceiling. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "A Dallas-based company is aiming for a vertical revolution in farming," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ceiling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ceiling

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ceiling

Middle English celing, from celen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ceiling

Statistics for ceiling

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ceiling

The first known use of ceiling was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ceiling



English Language Learners Definition of ceiling

: the inside surface at the top of a room

: an upper limit

: the greatest height at which an aircraft can fly


ceil·​ing | \ˈsē-liŋ \

Kids Definition of ceiling

1 : the overhead inside surface of a room

2 : the greatest height at which an airplane can fly properly

3 : the height above the ground of the bottom of the lowest layer of clouds

4 : an upper limit a ceiling on prices

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ceiling

What made you want to look up ceiling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!