spa·​tial | \ ˈspā-shəl How to pronounce spatial (audio) \
variants: or less commonly spacial

Definition of spatial

1 : relating to, occupying, or having the character of space
2 : of, relating to, or involved in the perception of relationships (as of objects) in space tests of spatial ability spatial memory

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Other Words from spatial

spatiality \ ˌspā-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce spatiality (audio) \ or less commonly spaciality noun
spatially \ ˈspā-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spatially (audio) \ or less commonly spacially adverb

Examples of spatial in a Sentence

When patients have this kind of problem, they can't feel the relationship between their body and their feet, so they must rely on visual cues to keep themselves upright. Without these cues, they lose their spatial orientation and fall. — John Pettinato, Discover, October 2004 Williams syndrome, which was first described in 1961, results when a group of genes on one copy of chromosome 7 is deleted during embryonic development. Most people with Williams resemble each other more than they do their families, with wide-set hazel eyes, upturned noses, and wide mouths. They also share a peculiar set of mental impairments. Most stumble over the simplest spatial tasks, such as putting together a puzzle, and many not read or write beyond the level of a first grader. U.S. News & World Report, 15 June 1998 Several new ground-based and orbiting astronomical facilities that could provide high spatial and spectral resolution appear technologically ready for development during the next several decades. — Robert D. Gehrz et al., Science, 25 May 1984 the spatial dimensions of a room
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Recent Examples on the Web

Previously, team member Justin Gallegos said the invention is meant to attach cameras to the outside of the space station to give astronauts more spatial awareness. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Cy-Fair college students create tool for NASA missions," 29 July 2019 Incisive passing, an innate knowledge of spatial awareness and his proficiency in keeping possession of the ball in tight spaces are staples to the Japanese player's game and hence, makes him one of the best prospects in world football., "Takefusa Kubo: Why Real Madrid's Exciting Starlet Is the Biggest Bargain of the Summer," 29 July 2019 According to the researchers, these items (or pictures of them) tend to have relatively high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequency. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "Is Trypophobia Really a Fear of Holes or Something Else Entirely?," 26 July 2019 So the spatial part of the memory might be in the hippocampus, but the part that remembers who was there might be in some other part. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Is GPS really ruining our brains?," 24 July 2019 The Mayfield Branch, designed by URS (now AECOM) with HBM, produces an even greater sense of spatial drama. Steven Litt,, "New Cuyahoga County libraries are spirited variations on themes of service, light, sense of place – Steven Litt," 21 July 2019 In the two new studies, Deisseroth's and Yuste's groups targeted predefined sets of cells by sculpting the laser beam into a hologram with a device called a spatial light modulator. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Laser holograms stimulate brain cells in mice to probe roots of perception and hallucination," 18 July 2019 The project features immersive spatial sound design by Erik Lohr, RYOT’s head of audio, and a voice over by TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger. Time Staff, Time, "TIME Launches New Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality App, TIME Immersive, to Showcase Groundbreaking Visual Journalism," 18 July 2019 With the Mixamp Pro TR, the A40 does great job at reproducing the spatial audio. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: Astro updates A40 and Mixamp Pro TR to keep up with gamers’ needs," 17 July 2019

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

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spatial

Latin spatium space

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Statistics for spatial

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spatial

The first known use of spatial was in 1847

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More Definitions for spatial



English Language Learners Definition of spatial

technical : of or relating to space and the relationship of objects within it


spa·​tial | \ ˈspā-shəl How to pronounce spatial (audio) \

Kids Definition of spatial

: of or relating to space


spa·​tial | \ ˈspā-shəl How to pronounce spatial (audio) \

Medical Definition of spatial

1 : relating to, occupying, or having the character of space affected with spatial disorientation
2 : of or relating to facility in perceiving relations (as of objects) in space tests of spatial ability

Other Words from spatial

spatially \ ˈspāsh-​(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spatially (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on spatial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spatial

Spanish Central: Translation of spatial

Nglish: Translation of spatial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spatial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spatial

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


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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