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

Directly overhead, suspended by wires from the ceiling, is the Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh's primitive plane, not much more than a metal box with propellers. The Washington Post, al.com, "How did NASA put men on the moon? One harrowing step at a time," 19 June 2019 While his rivals argued, Stewart tipped his head back, put his hands in his pockets, and stared at the ceiling. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "Rory Stewart, the Insurgent Candidate for Prime Minister, Soars Up and Out," 19 June 2019 Someone once asked her to make a cake in the shape of a cockroach to hang from the ceiling so guests could take bites from it. Kim Severson, New York Times, "It’s a Girl! It’s a Boy! And for the Gender-Reveal Cake, It May Be the End," 17 June 2019 There are bird decorations hanging from the ceiling, bird art on the walls, and craft cocktails. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "Here are 10 of the best LGBTQ-friendly bars in Cincinnati," 14 June 2019 On a clear day, blue sky glows like an orb on the ceiling. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Kanye West gave $10M to Roden Crater: 6 things to know about James Turrell's Flagstaff art project," 12 June 2019 In addition to the grocery, Schumacher said the store planned to add a European soccer bar, complete with soccer scarves hanging from the ceiling and plenty of TVs. oregonlive.com, "Southeast Portland’s new Citymaxx Food Stores scales up traditional Eastern European grocery," 11 June 2019 Its leaders built a superstore for housewares, with more than 1,500 locations that had so much merchandise that products hung from the ceiling. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Amazon Didn’t Cripple Bed Bath & Beyond. Its Own Leaders Did.," 2 June 2019 At the entrance a shimmering wave of blue material cascades from the ceiling. The New York Review of Books, "Jenny Uglow," 23 May 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

24 Jun 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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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