erect

adjective
\ i-ˈrekt How to pronounce erect (audio) \

Definition of erect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : vertical in position also : not spread out or decumbent an erect plant stem columns still erect in the ruins
b : standing up or out from the body erect hairs
c : characterized by firm or rigid straightness in bodily posture an erect bearing
2 archaic : directed upward
3 obsolete : alert, watchful
4 : being in a state of physiological erection

erect

verb
erected; erecting; erects

Definition of erect (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to put up by the fitting together of materials or parts : build
(2) : to fix in an upright position
(3) : to cause to stand up or stand out
b archaic : to direct upward
c : to change (an image) from an inverted to a normal position
2 : to elevate in status
4 obsolete : encourage, embolden
5 : to draw or construct (something, such as a perpendicular or figure) upon a given base

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from erect

Adjective

erectly \ i-​ˈrek-​(t)lē How to pronounce erect (audio) \ adverb
erectness \ i-​ˈrek(t)-​nəs How to pronounce erect (audio) \ noun

Verb

erectable \ i-​ˈrek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce erect (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for erect

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of erect in a Sentence

Adjective She sat erect, listening for her name. a lone tree remained erect after the terrible tornado had passed Verb The city erected a statue in his honor. They erected a marker over the grave.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective These experimental trees — only about 2,000 exist so far — grow erect, spineless and fast, while still being able to survive and thrive the in harsh, semi-arid climate of South Texas. Richard A. Marini, ExpressNews.com, "Argentina helping to improve the native Texas mesquite," 22 Oct. 2019 One is correctly seated at the table when the figure is erect but not rigid, not self-consciously tense; feet firmly on the floor; elbows off the table; left hand in the lap when it is not engaged. Dan Danbom, The Denver Post, "Don’t blow your nose in a napkin and use the right fork. Whatever happened to manners?," 17 Oct. 2019 Someday, a human-sized version might even be able erect habitats in space. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Origami Inspired Claw Will Gently Fold Around Jellyfish," 22 July 2018 This hybrid of two European/Asian species grows to be an almost architectural plant to about 5-feet tall with narrow, erect shape. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "For your Kentucky gardens, ornamental grasses are the way to go," 1 June 2018 The 5-7 Stanhope runs with erect posture and striking fluidity. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "From home-schooled runner to state champ? This Pike half-miler is on track," 15 May 2018 Natalie Mueller is an archaeobotanist at Cornell University who has spent years hunting for erect knotweed across the southern US and up into Ohio and Illinois. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "Hunting for the ancient lost farms of North America," 26 Jan. 2018 At up to 12 meters tall, these spindly species were topped by a clump of erect branches vaguely resembling modern palm trees and lived a whopping 393 million to 372 million years ago. Giorgia Guglielmi, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Yellowstone’s supervolcano, new CRISPR tools, and the odd growth strategy of ancient trees," 27 Oct. 2017 Asian elephants typically show distress with erect tails and flared ears; vocalizations such as trumpeting, rumbling, or roaring; and sudden defecation and urination. National Geographic, "Elephants Comfort Comrades During Rescue in China," 7 Nov. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Authorities plan to erect field hospitals in multiple locations in the state, with three set to go up in Orange County. Author: Alanna Durkin Richer, John Antczak, Anchorage Daily News, "Hospitals buckle across California as COVID-19 surges in cities big and small," 17 Dec. 2020 The plan for the new 340-room hotel is to erect it above the existing casino site at the foot of Canal Street, with the entrance at the casino's current entrance and driveway at the intersection of Canal and Convention Center Boulevard. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Harrah's New Orleans names new GM as it starts talks on $325m upgrade," 30 Sep. 2020 In February, the zoo will erect its barn facade, where Gordy will get the chance to look for his shadow. jsonline.com, "11 animal personalities you have to meet at the Milwaukee County Zoo," 23 Dec. 2020 Requiring stablecoin issuers to be banks would erect a much bigger hurdle. Gregory Barber, Wired, "A Member of the ‘Squad’ Takes on Cryptocurrency," 4 Dec. 2020 That means proponents — David and Leslie Cohn of the Cohn Restaurant Group and operator Sky Views of America — will aim to erect the part-time installation in the spring, following completion of additional steps and easing of state restrictions. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Balboa Park observation wheel idea wins preliminary approval," 3 Dec. 2020 Buyers have two options: Keep the existing house, a humble 4,700-square-foot traditional, or raze it and erect a mansion of up to 14,565 square feet. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Fender chief Andy Mooney tunes into the market with a $13.5-million offering," 7 Dec. 2020 Someone glided by, poised and erect, on a hoverboard. Tom Vanderbilt, Wired, "The Pandemic Gives Us a Chance to Change How We Get Around," 2 Dec. 2020 But Westminster Council rejected that plan in January 2018, citing a ten-year principle that directs officials not to erect statues of public figures until at least a decade after their death, as BBC News reported at the time. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why a Planned Statue of Britain’s ‘Iron Lady,’ Margaret Thatcher, Is So Polarizing," 24 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of erect

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for erect

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin erectus, past participle of erigere to erect, from e- + regere to lead straight, guide — more at right

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about erect

Time Traveler for erect

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for erect

Cite this Entry

“Erect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/erect. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for erect

erect

adjective
How to pronounce erect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of erect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: straight up and down
: in a state of erection because of sexual excitement : swollen and stiff

erect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of erect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to build (something) by putting together materials
: to set or place (something) so that it stands up

erect

adjective
\ i-ˈrekt How to pronounce erect (audio) \

Kids Definition of erect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: straight up and down an erect tree The soldiers stood erect.

erect

verb
erected; erecting

Kids Definition of erect (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put up by fitting together materials or parts erect a tent
2 : to set or place straight up erect a flagpole

Other Words from erect

erector \ i-​ˈrek-​tər \ noun

erect

adjective
\ i-ˈrekt How to pronounce erect (audio) \

Medical Definition of erect

1 : standing up or out from the body erect hairs
2 : being in a state of physiological erection

Keep scrolling for more

Legal Definition of erect

: to give legal existence to by a formal act of authority no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other StateU.S. Constitution art. IV

Other Words from erect

erection noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on erect

What made you want to look up erect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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