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

The figure/ground issue this artist presents is less a spatial conundrum than one of existence itself. Cate Mcquaid,, "Brilliant color, and glimmers of more," 3 July 2019 Last month, a study published in the journal Appetite concluded that regularly chowing down on the dark stuff leads to better cognitive brain function — including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills. Maria Carter, Woman's Day, "Researchers Say Eating Chocolate Every Day Can Have Serious Health Benefits," 17 July 2016 DeSiato said Silas is unable to use his left arm and hand, has impairments to his left field of vision and experiences problems with spatial awareness and depth perception. Sydney Czyzon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'A parent's worst nightmare': Babysitter goes to prison for causing brain damage, other injuries to baby," 24 June 2019 Feng shui is the Chinese method of finding harmonizing spatial arrangement. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Nick Ahmed leaves Diamondbacks game with left hand contusion," 20 June 2019 This new observing mode was developed to study galaxies and star clusters at higher spatial resolution. Fox News, "Growing alien worlds spotted in 'planet nursery' around young star," 5 June 2019 While the architecture pushes for spatial flow, the interior design pulls back with visual structure. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside an Unconventionally Glam Family Home in Chicago’s Historic Palmolive Building," 30 Apr. 2019 The map of Bennu will have on the order of 5cm spatial and a few cm vertical resolution, Bierhaus told Ars. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA’s daring asteroid mission unfurls its sampling arm for the first time," 16 Nov. 2018 This adds an interesting spatial dimension to the formula laid down by Spice Road, and the combination of trading and navigating your way across the board takes some careful planning. Owen Duffy, Ars Technica, "Century: Eastern Wonders makes cardboard spice trading fun again," 6 Oct. 2018

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

12 Jul 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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