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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from spatial

spatiality \ ˌspā-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce spatial (audio) \ or less commonly spaciality noun
spatially \ ˈspā-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce spatial (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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web How might your real estate footprint and spatial design evolve as a result? Elizabeth Kiehner, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 The skills required to excel at wheelchair basketball, Johnson said, are similar to those needed in regular basketball — speed, shooting, spatial awareness. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Aug. 2021 Another research group combined spatial data with single-cell RNA-sequencing data and studied the distinct functions of neighboring cells. Jalees Rehman, The Conversation, 6 Aug. 2021 The series of technological breakthroughs that allowed for the Reese’s Fast Break and your mouth to coexist in temporal and spatial reality. Zach Zimmerman, The New Yorker, 6 Aug. 2021 Theories range from deficits in spatial awareness to sensory integration and visual processing challenges. Washington Post, 29 July 2021 The twisties is a terrifying loss of spatial awareness and muscle memory that can happen while athletes are in the air, and it's sometimes triggered by stress. Sarah Jacob, SELF, 29 July 2021 In 2019, Transcriptic merged with 3Scan, which uses automation, machine learning and computer vision to extract spatial data from tissue samples and create detailed 3D representations. Amy Feldman, Forbes, 8 June 2021 They were all obsessed with the technology that self-driving cars were using — the spatial recognition and depth perception that lets the cars navigate the world around them. Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of spatial

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spatial

Latin spatium space

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About spatial

Time Traveler for spatial

Time Traveler

The first known use of spatial was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near spatial



spatial isomerism

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spatial

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spatial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spatial



English Language Learners Definition of spatial

: 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 spatial (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on spatial

Nglish: Translation of spatial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spatial for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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