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

The final gallery with lower ceilings has the beginning of an entire narrative cycle of what is to be a 400-page graphic novel. Dallas News, "Texas artist Trenton Doyle Hancock builds a world in massive exhibition space," 19 July 2019 Built in 1928 and redesigned in 2016, the contemporary has more than 4,600 square feet of glitzy living space including Baccarat fixtures, high ceilings, custom lighting, a bar, a theater and a game room. Los Angeles Times, "Mel B and Stephen Belafonte unload Hollywood Hills home for $5.55 million," 17 July 2019 The upstairs master features reclaimed ceiling barn beams, a sitting area, and a private balcony with soaring views out to Catalina Island and beyond. Variety, The Mercury News, "Photos: Ex-Facebook COO Owen Van Natta drops $10 Million on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast," 16 July 2019 The two players remain on far different timelines, and new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas seems poised to land a higher-ceiling running mate in the coming seasons. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Which NBA Stars Could Still be Dealt Following a Seismic Summer?," 15 July 2019 The 16-foot Hybrid Deluxe model features 200 square feet of interior space, with a 10.5-foot high ceiling. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "Pop-Up Tents No S’more: Glamping Is the New Backyard Camping," 11 July 2019 Echoes of laughter and conversations ping across the pool and off the high ceilings. Washington Post, "My daughter’s first triathlon tested her body — and my heart," 10 July 2019 These renovations have cost the U.K. taxpayer £2.4 million ($3 million), largely because most of the ceiling beams and floor joists had to be replaced, while heating, water and gas systems also had to be relaid to suit a single home. Phil Boucher, Fortune, "The British Royal Family’s Costs Are Skyrocketing. Here’s Why," 29 June 2019 Like the other originals here, it’s made of cinderblock, has no basement, has ceiling beams in the living room, originally had a tiny kitchen, and a coal bin off the laundry room, which is located off the main entrance. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Greendale original home, in the family since 1946, has grown and changed over the years," 27 June 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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Statistics for ceiling

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ceiling

The first known use of ceiling was in 1535

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More Definitions for ceiling



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).


something desired as essential

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