two-di·​men·​sion·​al ˈtü-də-ˈmench-nəl How to pronounce two-dimensional (audio)
 also  -dī-,
: of, relating to, or having two dimensions
The most symmetric of the two-dimensional objects is the circle, because you can rotate it any amount and reflect it over any axis through its center, and it remains exactly the same …Tamara M. Davis
… consider a piece of paper, a two-dimensional object. Crumple the paper up. The more tightly it's compressed, the more chaotic are its folds, and the closer the two-dimensional surface moves to becoming a three-dimensional solid.John Briggs and F. David Peat
: lacking the illusion of depth : not three-dimensional
His violent, nakedly two-dimensional art can be difficult to capture in photographs, depending as it does in great measure on knotty textures and eccentric color schemes for effect.Publishers Weekly
: lacking depth of characterization
two-dimensional characters
two-dimensionality noun
plural two-dimensionalities
two-dimensionally adverb
This guide … covers thoroughly and in-depth the process of representing the human form two-dimensionally on paper. Heather Halliday

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The flourishes may be two-dimensional, but because of them, the car looks just like one Arsham’s sculptures. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2023 The current exhibit at the JCC is more two-dimensional, Rosenberg said. Jacob Gurvis, Sun Sentinel, 21 Apr. 2023 The new emblem is darker and more two-dimensional than the chrome badge seen on current Genesis models. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 6 Apr. 2023 Applying pen to paper, the mathematicians constructed the concept of cellular automata, dynamical entities made up of shaded or unshaded cells skipping across a two-dimensional grid. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, 6 Apr. 2023 When the device is on (when 6 V are applied to the gate), electrons flow from the drain to the source in a flat region called a two-dimensional electron gas. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Mar. 2023 So two-dimensional category theory got quite well developed to deal with one-dimensional categories. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 22 Mar. 2023 This engagement, which was not happening in galleries and museums, fostered the radical belief among the Transcendentalists that if artists were doing their job, viewers could access a portal to understanding nature, music and self — a fourth dimension on a two-dimensional surface. Kealey Boyd, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2023 And there have been a number of examples of functional hardware being built from these two-dimensional materials. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 21 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'two-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

1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of two-dimensional was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near two-dimensional

Cite this Entry

“Two-dimensional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or having two dimensions (as length and width)

More from Merriam-Webster on two-dimensional

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