horizontal

adjective
hor·​i·​zon·​tal | \ ˌhȯr-ə-ˈzän-tᵊl How to pronounce horizontal (audio) , ˌhär-\

Definition of horizontal

1a : of or relating to the apparent junction of earth and sky : situated near the horizon
b : parallel to, in the plane of, or operating in a plane parallel to the horizon or to a baseline : level horizontal distance a horizontal engine
2 : relating to, directed toward, or consisting of individuals or entities of similar status or on the same level horizontal mergers horizontal hostility
3 medical : relating to or being transmission (as of a disease) by physical contact or proximity in contrast with inheritance Genes are normally inherited from parents, but they can also be inserted into a genome by viruses, plasmids, and other foreign agents—a phenomenon called horizontal transfer.— Stephan Reebs — compare vertical sense 4

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from horizontal

horizontal noun
horizontality \ ˌhȯr-​ə-​ˌzän-​ˈta-​lə-​tē How to pronounce horizontality (audio) , ˌhär-​ \ noun
horizontally \ ˌhȯr-​ə-​ˈzän-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce horizontally (audio) , ˌhär-​ \ adverb

Examples of horizontal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That means it could be seen as a horizontal agreement, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Aitor Ortiz. Washington Post, "Facebook Finally Meets a Regulator With Bite," 18 Sep. 2019 Last year, the United States took the honor, thanks to the wonders of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. David Meyer, Fortune, "Changing Oil Landscapes: CEO Daily," 16 Sep. 2019 The striking contemporary-style house, with walls of glass and horizontal louvers, was designed by architectural firm Honnold & Rex and built in 1954 as part of the Architectural Products magazine research program. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property: Alicia Keys gets into the La Jolla state of mind," 14 Sep. 2019 There are horizontal sheet webs that catch falling prey and vertical latticework webs that intercept flying prey. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "How spider silk is one of the most versatile materials on Earth," 12 Sep. 2019 The 1964 model only had minor changes, like a new horizontal-bars grille and different taillights. David Krumboltz, The Mercury News, "Me & My Car: Push-button gears sold buyer on ’64 Valiant," 9 Sep. 2019 Food is delivered on a tray through a horizontal slot in the door. NBC News, "Lester Holt: What I learned from spending two nights in a maximum-security prison," 6 Sep. 2019 Tornadoes thrive, in part, on strong vertical shear, which means a difference in horizontal winds' direction and speed at different heights. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Why tornadoes are among a hurricane's potent threats," 5 Sep. 2019 Reflections of lightning flashed across the walls of the Intensive Care Unit, and sheets of nearly horizontal rain beat a tattoo against the windows, with seemingly no spaces between the raindrops. New York Times, "Waiting for the Monsoon, Discovering a Brain Tumor Instead," 31 Aug. 2019

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

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for horizontal

see horizon

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about horizontal

Statistics for horizontal

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horizontal

The first known use of horizontal was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for horizontal

horizontal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of horizontal

: positioned from side to side rather than up and down : parallel to the ground

horizontal

adjective
hor·​i·​zon·​tal | \ ˌhȯr-ə-ˈzän-tᵊl How to pronounce horizontal (audio) \

Kids Definition of horizontal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lying flat or level : parallel to the horizon

Other Words from horizontal

horizontally adverb

horizontal

noun

Kids Definition of horizontal (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as a line or plane) that is parallel to the horizon

horizontal

adjective
hor·​i·​zon·​tal | \ ˌhȯr-ə-ˈzänt-ᵊl, ˌhär- How to pronounce horizontal (audio) \

Medical Definition of horizontal

1 : relating to or being a transverse plane or section of the body
2a : relating to or being transmission (as of a disease) by physical contact or proximity in contrast with inheritance — compare vertical
b : of or relating to horizontal gene transfer

Other Words from horizontal

horizontally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce horizontally (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

horizontal

adjective
hor·​i·​zon·​tal | \ ˌhȯr-ə-ˈzän-təl, ˌhär- How to pronounce horizontal (audio) \

Legal Definition of horizontal

: relating to, directed toward, or consisting of individuals or entities of similar status or on the same level

Other Words from horizontal

horizontally adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on horizontal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

fear of the number 13

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!