ver·​tex | \ ˈvər-ˌteks How to pronounce vertex (audio) \
plural vertices\ ˈvər-​tə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce vertex (audio) \ also vertexes

Definition of vertex

1 : the top of the head
2a : the point opposite to and farthest from the base in a figure
b : a point (as of an angle, polygon, polyhedron, graph, or network) that terminates a line or curve or comprises the intersection of two or more lines or curves
c : a point where an axis of an ellipse, parabola, or hyperbola intersects the curve itself
3 : a principal or highest point : summit the vertex of the hill

Examples of vertex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With angles of 36, 72 and 108 degrees, the triangles’ connection to pentagons is natural and also allows the triangles to combine in many ways around a vertex. Quanta Magazine, "How to Solve Our Three John Conway-Inspired Puzzles," 20 Nov. 2020 Each threadgroup can access groupshared memory but can output vertices and primitives that don't need to correlate with a specific thread in the group. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "DirectX 12 Ultimate brings Xbox Series X features to PC gaming," 19 Mar. 2020 Like a bent arm, the Hoyle state takes the shape of an obtuse triangle with an alpha particle at each vertex. Quanta Magazine, "A Primordial Nucleus Behind the Elements of Life," 4 Dec. 2012 Like a spatial metric, these cells fired when an animal passed over the vertices of the triangles. Matthew Schafer, Scientific American, "In Search of the Brain’s Social Road Maps," 1 Feb. 2020 Getting all that data to fit on the PlayStation's limited hardware, though, involved writing a custom compression algorithm that threw out unnecessary data for vertices that didn't move as much. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "How Crash Bandicoot Hacked The Original Playstation," 27 Feb. 2020 Meanwhile, each point represents a vertex at which four creases meet, the minimum needed for folding. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "New wrinkle on origami turns designing folding structures into child’s play," 14 Oct. 2019 Each vertex is a point mass of 1 unit, and the total mass is 3 units. Quanta Magazine, "Does Natural Law Need Elegant Mathematics?," 5 Dec. 2019 Each vertex gets assigned three binary digits — 001 or 101, say. Quanta Magazine, "Proof Finds That All Change Is a Mix of Order and Randomness," 27 Mar. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vertex

Middle English, top of the head, from Latin vertic-, vertex, vortic-, vortex whirl, whirlpool, top of the head, summit, from vertere to turn

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Time Traveler for vertex

Time Traveler

The first known use of vertex was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vertex

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vertex.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce vertex (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vertex

technical : a point where two lines meet to form an angle especially : the point on a triangle that is opposite to the base


ver·​tex | \ ˈvər-ˌteks How to pronounce vertex (audio) \
plural vertices\ ˈvər-​tə-​ˌsēz \ also vertexes

Kids Definition of vertex

1 : the point opposite to and farthest from the base of a geometrical figure
2 : the common endpoint of the sides of an angle


ver·​tex | \ ˈvər-ˌteks How to pronounce vertex (audio) \
plural vertices\ ˈvərt-​ə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce vertex (audio) \ also vertexes

Medical Definition of vertex

1 : the top of the head
2 : the highest point of the skull

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