ver·​tex | \ ˈvər-ˌteks How to pronounce vertex (audio) \
plural vertices\ ˈvər-​tə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce vertices (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 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 Finally, the scientists created quadrilaterals with different combinations of vertices. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "New wrinkle on origami turns designing folding structures into child’s play," 14 Oct. 2019 In the long run, Clara Schumann’s reputation as a concert pianist, creative muse for her husband, and (maybe?) vertex on a love triangle with Romantic-era titan Johannes Brahms greatly overshadowed her work as a composer., "Boston music series honors the ‘incredible genius’ of Clara Schumann on her 200th birthday - The Boston Globe," 10 Oct. 2019 Color each of the vertices white or black at random. Quanta Magazine, "Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order," 2 July 2019 The affected area is roughly the shape of a triangle, with Hawaii, Alaska and Southern California as its vertices. Los Angeles Times, "A giant mass of warm water off the Pacific Coast could rival ‘the blob’ of 2014-15," 5 Sep. 2019 Or, perhaps, is his sexiness confined to a certain demographic, the vertex of his popularity a past moment rather than an ongoing trend? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Exactly How Hot Is Keanu Reeves, According to Science*?," 12 June 2019 The Chrysler Building’s steel vertex was delivered in five pieces. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Mathematical graphs are structures that represent the dynamic relations among sets of items: Individual items sit at the vertices of the structure; the lines, or edges, between every pair of items describe their connection. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018

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

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vertex.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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 vertices (audio) \ also vertexes

Medical Definition of vertex

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

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Comments on vertex

What made you want to look up vertex? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

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