ver·​ti·​cal | \ ˈvər-ti-kəl How to pronounce vertical (audio) \

Essential Meaning of vertical

1 : positioned up and down rather than from side to side : going straight up a vertical line a shirt with vertical stripes See More Examplesthe vertical axis of a graph vertical cliffsHide
2 : having a structure in which there are top, middle, and bottom levels a vertical social order

Full Definition of vertical

1a : perpendicular to the plane of the horizon or to a primary axis : upright
b(1) : located at right angles to the plane of a supporting surface
(2) : lying in the direction of an axis : lengthwise
2a : situated at the highest point : directly overhead or in the zenith
b of an aerial photograph : taken with the camera pointing straight down or nearly so
3a : relating to, involving, or integrating economic activity from basic production to point of sale a vertical monopoly
b : of, relating to, or comprising persons of different status the vertical arrangement of society
4 medical : relating to or being transmission (as of a disease) by genetic inheritance or by a congenital or perinatal route vertical inheritance … decreasing the rate of vertical transmission of HIV to the fetus by two-thirds, so that the numbers of children with the condition are diminishing.— Cynthia B. Cohen — compare horizontal sense 3

Other Words from vertical

vertical noun
verticality \ ˌvər-​tə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē How to pronounce vertical (audio) \ noun
vertically \ ˈvər-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce vertical (audio) \ adverb
verticalness \ ˈvər-​ti-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce vertical (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for vertical



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Choose the Right Synonym for vertical

vertical, perpendicular, plumb mean being at right angles to a base line. vertical suggests a line or direction rising straight upward toward a zenith. the side of the cliff is almost vertical perpendicular may stress the straightness of a line making a right angle with any other line, not necessarily a horizontal one. the parallel bars are perpendicular to the support posts plumb stresses an exact verticality determined (as with a plumb line) by earth's gravity. make sure that the wall is plumb

Examples of vertical in a Sentence

a shirt with vertical stripes the vertical axis of a graph
Recent Examples on the Web The first player ran a 4.56 40-yard dash, benched 225 pounds 14 times, had a 39.5-inch vertical jump, broad jumped 123 inches, had a 6.82 three-cone drill, and a 4.3 second 20-yard shuttle. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2022 The curve on the country’s caseload graph was going vertical, sending waves of people horizontal. Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2021 For Sanchez, that meant improving her vertical leap so more of her hits found the floor. Dave Melton,, 3 Nov. 2021 Well, by standing 7-feet tall, having a 7-7 wingspan, and having an NBA Combine record for a center 37-inch vertical leap. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Oct. 2021 Miro showed off a shocking vertical leap while delivering a drop kick to Kingston. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2021 Lewis said his vertical leap as a high school junior was an impressive 45 inches — for reference, only two players have ever jumped that high in NBA Draft combine history. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, 12 Aug. 2021 His athleticism, with a combine-record 48-inch vertical leap and this year’s second-fastest three-quarter-court sprint, commands enormous respect. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2021 With a 7-foot wingspan and huge vertical leap, Kuminga has as good of a chance as anyone in this draft class not named Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs to become the face of a franchise. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2021

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

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for vertical

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin verticalis, from Latin vertic-, vertex

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Time Traveler for vertical

Time Traveler

The first known use of vertical was in 1559

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Dictionary Entries Near vertical



vertical angle

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Statistics for vertical

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vertical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for vertical


ver·​ti·​cal | \ ˈvər-ti-kəl How to pronounce vertical (audio) \

Kids Definition of vertical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: rising straight up and down from a level surface

Other Words from vertical

vertically adverb



Kids Definition of vertical (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as a line or plane) that rises straight up and down


ver·​ti·​cal | \ ˈvərt-i-kəl How to pronounce vertical (audio) \

Medical Definition of vertical

: relating to or being transmission (as of a disease) by genetic inheritance or by a congenital or perinatal route vertical transmission of the hepatitis B virus from mother to infant vertical inheritance — compare horizontal sense 2

Other Words from vertical

vertically \ ˈvərt-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce vertical (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on vertical

Nglish: Translation of vertical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vertical for Arabic Speakers


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