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

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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 space was gutted and redesigned to be more open and less walled-in, but the one holdover from the previous tenant is the bare Edison lightbulbs suspended from the ceiling, which adds a contemporary touch. Donald Liebenson, chicagotribune.com, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Beelow's NorthShore in Highland Park," 11 July 2018 Hurns and Williams certainly have higher floors, but Gallup is the only Cowboys receiver with a real ceiling, and that makes him a great target at his 162.7 ADP, 62nd among receivers. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football's Most Undervalued Receivers for 2018," 10 July 2018 Weather at the closest reporting site — 22 miles northeast of the crash — included winds around 10 mph, 10-mile visibility, light rain and a broken cloud ceiling at 6,000 feet, according to the report. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "NTSB: Locator beacon turned off on small plane that crashed, killing Salcha couple," 10 July 2018 The units have 14-foot ceilings, exposed brick and natural wood floors. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Where you can live on a typical income around downtown Louisville," 9 July 2018 Public Landing has vertical, cathedral-like ceilings, walls fashioned from local quarried limestone, and a centerpiece bar. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Public Landing in Lockport," 8 July 2018 Their home has big windows, tall ceilings, its own patio and lots of natural light. Michelle Beaver, azcentral, "Couple embraces Main Street living in custom downtown Scottsdale condo," 5 July 2018 They are then tracked by a large number of cameras in the ceiling, which continuously analyze behavior in the store. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Amazon Will Supersize Its Second Grab-and-Go Grocery in Seattle," 3 July 2018 The original towering ceilings, dark interior wood and natural light from the large windows reflect the building’s history, but the renovation with glass offices and black and gray carpet add a modern feel. Christine Willmsen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s Mexican Consulate prepares for move into former Harvard Exit Theater," 25 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.

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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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Phrases Related to ceiling

cathedral ceiling

go through the ceiling

Statistics for ceiling

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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

: 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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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