lon·​gi·​tu·​di·​nal | \ ˌlän-jə-ˈtüd-nəl How to pronounce longitudinal (audio) , -ˈtyüd-, -ˈt(y)ü-dᵊn-əl, British also ˌläŋ-gə- \

Definition of longitudinal

1 : placed or running lengthwise The insect's back is black with yellow longitudinal stripes.
2 : of or relating to length or the lengthwise dimension the longitudinal extent of the building
3 : involving the repeated observation or examination of a set of subjects over time with respect to one or more study variables a longitudinal study of juvenile offenders over a period of five years

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from longitudinal

longitudinally adverb

Examples of longitudinal in a Sentence

The insect's body is black with yellow longitudinal stripes. calculating the longitudinal position of a ship a longitudinal study of career aspirations among girls from 5 to 17
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Since then, the large longitudinal cohort study has followed the same women who first entered 25 years ago, gleaning insights into a range of associations between risk factors and health outcomes. Ryan Prior, CNN, "Gulping down 1 or more sugary drinks a day could put you at risk for cardiovascular disease," 13 May 2020 There is one — albeit small and limited — longitudinal study of a forest school program that observed 11 disadvantaged British youth who participated in a weekly forest school program for three years. Katherine Martinelli, New York Times, "Can Climbing Trees Replace Preparing for Tests?," 19 Apr. 2020 Mounted on the same vehicle at the same pressure, different--width tires will have the same total contact-patch area, but the narrower tire's longer contact patch improves longitudinal traction for acceleration and braking. —Ed. Car and Driver, "Explained: Car and Driver Will Now Take Your Questions, Part Three," 2 May 2020 Flockhart and Larsen point out that the data on Svendsen, which includes a series of eight lab testing sessions over a five-year period, offers a longitudinal test of the same question. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Why a Higher VO2max Isn’t Always Better," 26 Dec. 2019 One way of using this big book is as the longitudinal presentation of a sensibility, its fluctuations plotted on a decades-long graph. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "The Many Voices of Charles Wright," 4 Nov. 2019 For the zucchini noodles: Cut the ends off the zucchini and thinly slice into longitudinal strips, like lasagna noodles, about ¼-inch thick. Mark Hyman, NBC News, "What's for dinner (and lunch the next day)? This healthy Turkey Zucchini Lasagna recipe," 3 Nov. 2019 For each test, the longitudinal distance and the time-to-collision was recorded when each vehicle gave a visual alert that a collision was imminent, as well as once the vehicle began to automatically brake. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Pedestrian detection systems don’t work very well, AAA finds," 7 Oct. 2019 The trauma stemming from chronic bullying can affect the structure of the brain, according to longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data collected by an international team based at King’s College London. Rod Mccullom, Quartz, "How bullying may shape adolescent brains," 7 Oct. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about longitudinal

Time Traveler for longitudinal

Time Traveler

The first known use of longitudinal was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for longitudinal

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Longitudinal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/longitudinal. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for longitudinal


How to pronounce longitudinal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of longitudinal

: placed or going along the long side of something
: of or relating to longitude
: done by observing or examining a group of people or things over time to study how one or two particular things about them change


lon·​gi·​tu·​di·​nal | \ ˌlän-jə-ˈtü-dᵊn-əl How to pronounce longitudinal (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Kids Definition of longitudinal

: placed or running lengthwise longitudinal stripes

Other Words from longitudinal

longitudinally adverb


lon·​gi·​tu·​di·​nal | \ ˌlän-jə-ˈt(y)üd-ᵊn-əl, -nəl, British also ˌläŋ-gə-ˈtyüd- \

Medical Definition of longitudinal

1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the lengthwise dimension a longitudinal bone fracture
2 : extending along or relating to the anteroposterior axis of a body or part a trypanosome which reproduces by longitudinal fission
3 : involving the repeated observation or examination of a set of subjects over time with respect to one or more study variables (as general health, the state of a disease, or mortality) a longitudinal study of heart transplant recipients over a five-year period

Other Words from longitudinal

longitudinally \ -​ē How to pronounce longitudinally (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on longitudinal

Spanish Central: Translation of longitudinal

Nglish: Translation of longitudinal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of longitudinal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on longitudinal

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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