three-di·​men·​sion·​al ˈthrē-də-ˈmench-nəl How to pronounce three-dimensional (audio)
 also  -dī-
: of, relating to, or having three dimensions
: giving the illusion of depth or varying distances
used especially of an image or a pictorial representation on a two-dimensional medium when this illusion is enhanced by stereoscopic means
: describing or being described in well-rounded completeness
a three-dimensional analysis of multiple historical processesL. L. Snyder
: true to life : lifelike
three-dimensionality noun

Examples of three-dimensional in a Sentence

an actress who has been acclaimed for her three-dimensional portrayal of the celebrated monarch
Recent Examples on the Web The software’s initial tease in 2018 offered potential for accurately predicting the three-dimensional structure of proteins, while its 2020 update, AlphaFold 2, came with significant improvements. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 May 2024 The three-dimensional thing is quite something in all three areas, but probably the biggest and most striking example is Shrek’s cottage. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 15 May 2024 But while many aquatic and flying examples can navigate three-dimensional environments, that often isn’t the case for bots relegated to walking, crawling, or rolling along the ground. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 8 May 2024 In a post published on X this morning—and now counting nearly 15 million views—Katy Perry is pictured wearing a stunning dress decorated with three-dimensional floral appliqués, which descends to the ground, transforming into incredibly realistic-looking moss. Chiara Crescenzi, WIRED, 7 May 2024 After Johnson passed away on Dec. 31, the flagship Neiman’s store in downtown Dallas created a three-dimensional portrait representation of Johnson to give her constituents the opportunity to memorialize her in an up-close, personal manner. TIME, 6 May 2024 In keeping with the 2024 gala’s Garden of Time dress code, the off-the-shoulder dress was adorned with three-dimensional yellow roses and green leaves. Sam Reed, Glamour, 6 May 2024 In 1611, the physicist Johannes Kepler thought about the best way to pack three-dimensional spheres. Quanta Magazine, 30 Apr. 2024 Instead of representing three-dimensional worlds through the canvas, some of Stella's early artworks reflected his desire to have an immediate visual impact upon viewers. Chloe Veltman, NPR, 4 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'three-dimensional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of three-dimensional was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near three-dimensional

Cite this Entry

“Three-dimensional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or having three dimensions (as length, width, and height)
: giving the appearance of depth or varying distances

More from Merriam-Webster on three-dimensional

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