1

perpendicular

adjective per·pen·dic·u·lar \ ˌpər-pən-ˈdi-kyə-lər \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of perpendicular

1 a :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

perpendicularity

play \ˌpər-pən-ˌdi-kyə-ˈler-ə-tē, -ˈla-rə-\ noun

perpendicularly

play \ˌpər-pən-ˈdi-kyə-lər-lē\ adverb

Examples of perpendicular in a Sentence

  1. She lives on the street that is perpendicular to mine.

  2. river rafters staring awestruck at the canyon's nearly perpendicular cliffs

Recent Examples of perpendicular from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of perpendicular

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

Synonym Discussion of perpendicular

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

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


2

perpendicular

noun

Definition of perpendicular

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

First Known Use of perpendicular

1551

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


PERPENDICULAR Defined for English Language Learners

perpendicular

adjective

Definition of perpendicular for English Language Learners

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


PERPENDICULAR Defined for Kids

1

perpendicular

adjective per·pen·dic·u·lar \ ˌpər-pən-ˈdi-kyə-lər \

Definition of perpendicular for Students

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

perpendicularly

adverb

2

perpendicular

noun

Definition of perpendicular for Students

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


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