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

Verb

erectable \ i-​ˈrek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce erectable (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 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 Fact One: Bruce Wayne is a self-indulgent finance bro who cosplays as a bat with erect nipples. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "The Only Bad Part About 'Wonder Woman' Was Batman Sliding into Her Proverbial DMs," 6 June 2017 Gen. Robert E. Lee stood erect, arms crossed over his chest, as his statue was ousted from its prominent 133-year perch in the heart of New Orleans. Jenny Jarvie, latimes.com, "New Orleans removes a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its perch of 133 years," 19 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tent courts were erected here and in Brownsville, Texas, during the summer by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a cost of $25 million, so far. Los Angeles Times, "Tent courthouses for migrants to open along Texas border, as questions abound," 9 Sep. 2019 By keeping land use unchanged, multi-story office space could be erected in the area, which Young fears. Sam Lounsberry, The Denver Post, "Boulder bails on Alpine-Balsam area land use, focuses on city-owned hospital site," 31 Aug. 2019 The skeleton of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) wing in the new addition is being erected. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland.com, "Girls on the Run is expanding its program area: Talk of the Towns," 24 Aug. 2019 The 1907 monument was erected at a time when the South was being romanticized and slavery was de-emphasized. USA TODAY, "‘Stranger’ tourists, Phish and the plague, kinkajou attack: News from around our 50 states," 22 Aug. 2019 With the help of Universal, which released Field of Dreams in 1989, a temporary ballpark to seat 8,000 attendees will be erected at the film site in Dyersville, Iowa. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Yankees and White Sox to play 2020 game on the Field of Dreams," 8 Aug. 2019 After the war a monument was erected in Fontainebleau Forest, where Mandel was executed in 1944. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Haunting of Paris: Georges Mandel and the Long Legacy of Nazi Violence," 6 Aug. 2019 In 2007, a sign was erected along the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi, marking the spot where the body of Emmett Till was pulled from the water in 1955. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Due to Repeated Vandalism, Emmett Till Memorial to Be Replaced with Bulletproof Sign," 30 July 2019 Later, a gate was erected by Emperor Hadrian in the second century A.D., and the temple was converted into a Church in A.D. 540 during the reign of the Byantine Emperor Justinian. Esther Pons, National Geographic, "Epic engineering rescued colossal ancient Egyptian temples from floodwaters," 17 July 2019

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

Statistics for erect

Time Traveler for erect

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

See more words from the same century

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

More from Merriam-Webster on erect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erect

Spanish Central: Translation of erect

Nglish: Translation of erect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erect for Arabic Speakers

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

not being in agreement or harmony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!