perpendicular

adjective
per·​pen·​dic·​u·​lar | \ ˌpər-pən-ˈdi-kyə-lər How to pronounce perpendicular (audio) \

Definition of perpendicular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : standing at right angles to the plane of the horizon : exactly upright
b : being at right angles to a given line or plane
2 : extremely steep : precipitous
3 often capitalized : of or relating to a medieval English Gothic style of architecture in which vertical lines predominate
4 : relating to, uniting, or consisting of individuals of dissimilar type or on different levels

perpendicular

noun

Definition of perpendicular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line at right angles to a line or plane (as of the horizon)

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Other Words from perpendicular

Adjective

perpendicularity \ ˌpər-​pən-​ˌdi-​kyə-​ˈler-​ə-​tē How to pronounce perpendicularity (audio) , -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
perpendicularly \ ˌpər-​pən-​ˈdi-​kyə-​lər-​lē How to pronounce perpendicularly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for perpendicular

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for perpendicular

Adjective

vertical, perpendicular, plumb mean being at right angles to a base line. vertical suggests a line or direction rising straight upward toward a zenith. the side of the cliff is almost vertical perpendicular may stress the straightness of a line making a right angle with any other line, not necessarily a horizontal one. the parallel bars are perpendicular to the support posts plumb stresses an exact verticality determined (as with a plumb line) by earth's gravity. make sure that the wall is plumb

Examples of perpendicular in a Sentence

Adjective She lives on the street that is perpendicular to mine. river rafters staring awestruck at the canyon's nearly perpendicular cliffs
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The wheels are held to the surface by a force that is perpendicular to the surface. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Flat surfaces surf past each other on the peak of a wave," 2 Feb. 2020 Of the 92 clusters, 77 were in one group, moving perpendicular to the galaxy's disk, while the other group orbited at a 90-degree angle. Fox News, "Milky Way galaxy on 'collision course' with nearby 'monster' galaxy," 3 Oct. 2019 The two women slide into the ample booth and sit perpendicular to each other. San Francisco Chronicle, "Act I," 4 Jan. 2013 The upper arms are parallel to the ground, and the forearms are perpendicular to the ground. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "15-minute workouts: This 31-day dumbbell routine will tone and strengthen your entire body," 29 Feb. 2020 But because our planet hits this cosmic dust trail at a perpendicular angle, our rendezvous with the Quadrantids will be brief. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "How to Catch the Quadrantids, the First Major Meteor Shower of the 2020s," 30 Dec. 2019 Look for faint buck trails situated perpendicular to the wind direction and hang stands on the downwind side of the trail. Matthew Every, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Deer Hunter’s Guide to Playing the Wind," 2 Dec. 2019 In order to improve spin, players would use the 'Beilein ball,' a basketball with a thick line drawn perpendicular to the normal black lines. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what Michigan basketball has been doing to shed its early season issues," 11 Nov. 2019 Boumerhi takes three steps directly back, two steps to his left at a 90-degree angle, perpendicular to the ball, and lines up the kick. BostonGlobe.com, "Boumerhi, a Boston College graduate student who previously attended Temple, has two years of eligibility with the Eagles. He is 3 for 5 on field goal attempts this season and a perfect 17 of 17 on extra points, and has transitioned seamlessly to a new team in a new city and conference.," 28 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Photos from the scene showed the plane perpendicular to highway lanes about 75 miles south of San Francisco. CBS News, "Plane lands on California highway median; no injuries reported," 18 Feb. 2018 Photos from the scene showed the plane perpendicular to highway lanes about 75 miles south of San Francisco. CBS News, "Plane lands on California highway median; no injuries reported," 18 Feb. 2018

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

Adjective

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

Noun

1551, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perpendicular

Adjective

Middle English perpendiculer, from Middle French, from Latin perpendicularis, from perpendiculum plumb line, from per- + pendēre to hang — more at pendant

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Time Traveler for perpendicular

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perpendicular

Last Updated

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perpendicular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perpendicular. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for perpendicular

perpendicular

adjective
How to pronounce perpendicular (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perpendicular

: going straight up or to the side at a 90 degree angle from another line or surface

perpendicular

adjective
per·​pen·​dic·​u·​lar | \ ˌpər-pən-ˈdi-kyə-lər How to pronounce perpendicular (audio) \

Kids Definition of perpendicular

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exactly vertical
2 : being at right angles to a line or surface The letter T is made with two perpendicular lines.

Other Words from perpendicular

perpendicularly adverb

perpendicular

noun

Kids Definition of perpendicular (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line, surface, or position at right angles to another line, surface, or position

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Comments on perpendicular

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