di·​ag·​o·​nal | \ dī-ˈa-gə-nᵊl How to pronounce diagonal (audio) , -ˈag-nəl \

Definition of diagonal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : joining two vertices of a rectilinear figure that are nonadjacent or two vertices of a polyhedral figure that are not in the same face
b : passing through two nonadjacent edges of a polyhedron a diagonal plane
2a : inclined obliquely from a reference line (such as the vertical) wood with a diagonal grain
b : having diagonal markings or parts a diagonal weave



Definition of diagonal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a diagonal straight line or plane
2a(1) : a diagonal direction
(2) : a diagonal row, arrangement, or pattern
b : something oriented in diagonal position
on the diagonal
: in an oblique direction : diagonally

Examples of diagonal in a Sentence

Adjective The blanket is covered with diagonal stripes. the diagonal design ran up the wall all the way from the lower left to the upper right-hand corner Noun a design with strong diagonals the ramp was set at a low diagonal to make it easier for physically challenged patrons
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Almost the entire state on either side of a diagonal line from La Crosse to Green Bay is under a risk for severe storms, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Joe Taschler, Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2022 Think of horizontal and diagonal moves instead of just vertical ones. Mj Vigil, Forbes, 2 Mar. 2021 The diagonal lines create a slimming appearance and the fabric is compressive, yet not too tight. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 1 June 2022 Add all the color, and go for diagonal lines to add even more intrigue to the look. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 May 2022 Lenovo is increasing the performance while shrinking the diagonal screen size of its P-series ThinkPad laptop workstation. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 17 May 2022 Then there is Japan’s Hirano, who a few weeks ago landed the first triple cork trick in competition—that’s three diagonal head-over-heels flips. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 The driving rain is depicted with streaking diagonal lines. Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2022 Cut deep diagonal lines across the mixture, first slanting left, then slanting right, to make a diamond pattern. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The expansive volume under the tent, the spherical ring, the arcs of leaping gymnasts, the diagonals of tightrope were like the elements in the solar system, orbiting around one another, all bound by gravity. Rachel Corbett, The Atlantic, 12 Apr. 2020 Pat dry, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths and set aside. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 10 Apr. 2020 Diagonal: Long boards installed on a diagonal from the room's walls. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 13 Mar. 2020 This can be done by stretching a string across one diagonal and then the other. James Dulley, Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2020 Every subrange of d, such as a target window of 0.95 to 1.05, will be a 2-D sandwich between lines parallel to, and on either side of, the above diagonal. Quanta Magazine, 29 June 2018 By move 42, both of Alpha- Zero’s bishops control long open diagonals directed right at the king. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, 23 Feb. 2020 Torey Krug made the key play on Pastrnak’s goal, firing a hard, long-distance diagonal from 10-15 feet behind his own blue line into the right wing corner. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Nov. 2019 Yes, that Adolf, complete with the mini-mustache and the dark diagonal of hair. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diagonal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of diagonal


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diagonal


Latin diagonalis, from Greek diagōnios from angle to angle, from dia- + gōnia angle; akin to Greek gony knee — more at knee entry 1

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Time Traveler for diagonal

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The first known use of diagonal was in 1563

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Dictionary Entries Near diagonal



diagonal biped

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Statistics for diagonal

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diagonal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diagonal. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for diagonal


di·​ag·​o·​nal | \ dī-ˈa-gə-nᵊl How to pronounce diagonal (audio) , -ˈag-nəl \

Kids Definition of diagonal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : running from one corner to the opposite corner of a four-sided shape (as a square) a diagonal line
2 : running in a slanting direction diagonal stripes

Other Words from diagonal

diagonally \ -​nə-​lē \ adverb



Kids Definition of diagonal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line, direction, or pattern that runs in a slanting direction

More from Merriam-Webster on diagonal

Nglish: Translation of diagonal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diagonal for Arabic Speakers


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