ceiling

noun
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

Other Words from ceiling

ceilinged \ ˈsē-​liŋd How to pronounce ceiling (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 Zeke clearly had a lot of natural ability, winning his first youth state title in seventh grade, but Brian was not sure just how high his son's ceiling was. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Nov. 2021 Just feast your eyes on the twin, carved mahogany staircases that sweep majestically down from the second-floor balcony, the intricate, interwoven wooden ceiling and that towering wall of glass looking out on to the Windex-blue Caribbean. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 23 Nov. 2021 Badenhausen argued that even while the Knicks’ value has skyrocketed independent of their play, the years of poor performance have lowered the ceiling. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Concrete planters filled with oversized foliage and a spa area with a cedar ceiling and floor on the lower level support the designers’ goal of creating a tranquil, greenery-rich retreat within the predominately black-and-white residence. oregonlive, 23 Nov. 2021 The Wildcats are 8-3, and nine wins may be Stoops’ ceiling at Kentucky. J. Brady Mccollough Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 But much of the eccentricity that defined Band of Bohemia has been stripped out, replaced by Forbidden Root’s high-end urban rusticity, such as the French metal olive baskets converted to ceiling lamp shades throughout. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, 23 Nov. 2021 The Ducks would need a miracle to get back into the race, while the Spartans are eliminated from the Big Ten title and have a ceiling for their ranking. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2021 In one bedroom—tall windows, double-height ceiling—Cassandra Long, a thirty-four-year-old painter and teacher, and an Aubergine resident for two years, pointed to some elaborate original molding. Ian Volner, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best ceiling fan of 2021.

Learn More About ceiling

Time Traveler for ceiling

Time Traveler

The first known use of ceiling was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near ceiling

ceilidh

ceiling

ceiling climbing

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ceiling

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ceiling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceiling. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for ceiling

ceiling

noun

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

ceiling

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on ceiling

Nglish: Translation of ceiling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ceiling for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ceiling

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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