el·​e·​va·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio) \

Definition of elevation

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

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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

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.

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 Those data included household income, education, race, ethnicity and employment rates, as well as geographical information such as the distance to the coast and elevation. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "Why Trump-favoring Voters Ignored a Deadly Hurricane Warning," 11 Sep. 2020 Check your altimeter and trace the elevation lines on the map. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Trapped in a wilderness fire? Here’s how to survive," 10 Sep. 2020 It was found at 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) elevation and was only spotted by Oberlechner because ice had started to recede. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "400-year-old mummified goat found in Italian Alps," 8 Sep. 2020 The Cabernet Sauvignon is harvested from an elevation over 6,000 feet. Rachel King, Fortune, "There’s more than one way to ditch white (wine) after Labor Day," 5 Sep. 2020 Phoenix’s lower elevation also makes the city friendlier to insects. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "How the hot, dry Phoenix summer set off an invasion of crickets and other pests," 5 Sep. 2020 One of the most common killers for elk hunting hopefuls is the elevation and rugged terrain elk live in. Michael Herne, Outdoor Life, "This Fitness Regimen Will Get You into Elk Hunting Shape," 24 Aug. 2020 Try, try again Researchers have been working on these problems from every angle, cleaning up dataset problems and tackling complications like land-elevation changes. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Nagging sea level-rise mismatch solved," 19 Aug. 2020 Tree lines—the upper limit in elevation or altitude beyond which trees cannot grow because of weather conditions—serve as visual boundaries of climate. Mara Johnson-groh, Smithsonian Magazine, "Because of Climate Change, Canada’s Rocky Mountain Forests Are on the Move," 17 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elevation.' 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 elevation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for elevation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for elevation

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elevation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elevation. Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for elevation


How to pronounce elevation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of elevation

: the height of a place
: an act or result of lifting or raising someone or something
: a place (such as a hill) that is higher than the area around it


el·​e·​va·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio) \

Kids Definition of elevation

1 : height especially above sea level : altitude
2 : a raised place (as a hill)
3 : the act of raising : the condition of being raised


el·​e·​va·​tion | \ ˌel-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce elevation (audio) \

Medical Definition of elevation

1 : a swelling especially on the skin
2 : a usually abnormal increase (as in degree or amount)

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