elevation

noun

el·​e·​va·​tion ˌe-lə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio)
1
: the height to which something is elevated: such as
a
: the angular distance of something (such as a celestial object) above the horizon
b
: the degree to which a gun is aimed above the horizon
c
: the height above the level of the sea : altitude
2
: a dancer's or an athlete's leap and seeming suspension in the air
also : the ability to achieve an elevation
3
: an act or instance of elevating
4
: something that is elevated: such as
a
: an elevated place
b
: a swelling especially on the skin
5
: the quality or state of being elevated
6
: a geometrical drawing that depicts one vertical plane of an object or structure

Did you know?

When you're hiking, you may be interested in knowing the highest elevation you'll be reaching. Psychologists use the term "mood elevation" to mean improvement in a patient's depression, and some leg ailments require elevation of the limb, usually so that it's higher than the heart for part of each day. Elevation can also mean "promotion;" thus, a vice president may be elevated to president, or a captain may be elevated to admiral.

Choose the Right Synonym for elevation

height, altitude, elevation mean vertical distance either between the top and bottom of something or between a base and something above it.

height refers to something measured vertically whether high or low.

a wall two meters in height

altitude and elevation apply to height as measured by angular measurement or atmospheric pressure; altitude is preferable when referring to vertical distance above the surface of the earth or above sea level; elevation is used especially in reference to vertical height on land.

fly at an altitude of 10,000 meters
Denver is a city with a high elevation

Examples of elevation in a Sentence

a plant species found only at higher elevations We charted the elevations in her temperature.
Recent Examples on the Web Before this year, only 17 men – and no women – had ever completed all five loops of the race, which covers somewhere between 100 and 130 miles and takes in 63,000 feet of elevation – more than twice the height of Mount Everest. George Ramsay, CNN, 6 Apr. 2024 Temperatures at elevations as low as 3,000 feet could reach freezing levels by late Thursday and Friday across the Southland — the lowest elevation for snow seen this winter and spring season, said Rich Thompson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 Near La Crosse, with the temperature at or near freezing and the variable elevations in the area, snow accumulation reports varied dramatically. David Clarey, Journal Sentinel, 3 Apr. 2024 Up to a half-inch of rain is forecast for Thursday, along with possible hail and snow in high elevations. Kristin Bender, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024 Most of the one-mile segment is separated by a wide median, with the northbound lanes at a higher elevation than the southbound lanes. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2024 Winds are forecast to gust in lower elevations between 35 and 45 mph. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 21 Mar. 2024 Jerome is built on the steep slope of Cleopatra Hill with 1,500 vertical feet of elevation change from one end of town to the other. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 22 Mar. 2024 In lower elevations and coastal regions across Northern California, showers and thunderstorms are expected Friday and Saturday before the storm shifts southward, bringing those rains and winds to Central and Southern California on Saturday and Sunday. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'elevation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of elevation was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near elevation

Cite this Entry

“Elevation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elevation. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

elevation

noun
el·​e·​va·​tion ˌel-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio)
1
a
: the height to which something is raised
b
: the height above sea level : altitude
2
: an act or instance of elevating
3
: an elevated place (as a hill)
4
: the quality or state of being elevated

Medical Definition

elevation

noun
el·​e·​va·​tion ˌel-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio)
1
: a swelling especially on the skin
2
: a usually abnormal increase (as in degree or amount)

More from Merriam-Webster on elevation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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