ceil·​ing | \ ˈsē-liŋ How to pronounce ceiling (audio) \

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

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Other Words from ceiling

ceilinged \ ˈsē-​liŋd How to pronounce ceilinged (audio) \ 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 One subterranean shaft is a clogged-up jumble of orange and gray cables, some with loose ends, others jammed tightly through a hole in the ceiling. Catherine Hickley, New York Times, "Budget Blowouts and Delays Blight Germany’s Major Arts Projects," 10 Jan. 2020 The baby’s cradle was a plastic vegetable crate, lined with blankets, hung from a water pipe in the ceiling, free to swing. Lydia Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Among Syria’s Exiles in Jordan," 8 Jan. 2020 Amazon's Go stores rely on hundreds of cameras in the ceiling. John General, CNN, "Skip the grocery store line with these smart shopping carts," 23 Dec. 2019 These included installing sound tiles in the ceiling and some additional accommodations for those with physical disabilities. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "The Kentucky Center has completed repairs and changed its name nearly 18 months after fire," 26 Nov. 2019 Fire scorched the exterior while the interior suffered water damage, and holes cut by firefighters were left in the ceiling last week, according to Smith. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Tater tots are in the fryer, Beefy King reopens today," 20 Nov. 2019 The contamination likely resulted from water onto uncovered meats through a hole in the ceiling of the Hollywood store, state inspectors said. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Penn Dutch’s listeria-contaminated Hollywood building sold for $3.7 million," 19 Nov. 2019 North Carolina Durham: An opossum has illegally taken up residence in the ceiling of a Duke University dorm, where students have been complaining about being bitten by fleas. USA TODAY, "Surfboard proposal, Duke dorm opossum, Sky Bar’s back: News from around our 50 states," 15 Nov. 2019 The camera pans up through a hole in the ceiling to reveal ... creatures of some kind. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Internet Thinks These Things Are Aliens. The Truth Is Much More Sinister.," 14 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ceiling

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ceiling

Middle English celing, from celen

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Time Traveler for ceiling

Time Traveler

The first known use of ceiling was in 1535

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Statistics for ceiling

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ceiling.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceiling. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for ceiling


How to pronounce ceiling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ceiling

: the inside surface at the top of a room
: an upper limit
technical : the greatest height at which an aircraft can fly


ceil·​ing | \ ˈsē-liŋ How to pronounce ceiling (audio) \

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

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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).


to assert without proof or before proving

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