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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Automatic Parking Assistant Plus with surround-view cameras with 3-D view and Active Park Distance Control helps maneuver into either parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, controlling acceleration, braking, steering and gearing. Emma Jayne Williams, chicagotribune.com, "BMW updates the 7-Series sedan line for 2020; plug-in hybrid model added," 3 Dec. 2019 Now hold the spray bottle about a foot away from—and perpendicular to—the net of your fog catcher. Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Catch Water from the Air," 26 Sep. 2019 All X7s come with a host of the latest in technology and safety equipment features, and the X7 can even self-park in either parallel or perpendicular spaces. Arv Voss, Houston Chronicle, "BMW launches first-ever X7," 23 Aug. 2019 The long axis of each strip is perpendicular to the direction that the vehicle needs to go. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’," 17 Jan. 2020 Pre-accident photos confirmed that the perpendicular position would indicate that the valve was closed. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Feds investigating deadly 2017 explosion at Minnehaha Academy says pipefitting crew unqualified," 3 Dec. 2019 Working perpendicular to the beer icing, drizzle chocolate in a zigzag motion over cookies. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beau Beaus (Beer & Pretzel Cookies)," 3 Dec. 2019 This is done with big meshes that are set up perpendicular to the path of the wind. Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Catch Water from the Air," 26 Sep. 2019 Near the empty pole is a row of black-and-white wooden stakes, 20 feet apart, that run perpendicular to the beach. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Will climate change force this Alaska village to relocate?," 1 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about perpendicular

Time Traveler for perpendicular

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for perpendicular

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perpendicular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perpendicular. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on perpendicular

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!