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

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

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Other Words from vertical

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

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 Features include an all-seating bowl with vertical lift, similar to Red Rocks, instead of a stretched lawn format, to bring fans and bands closer together. Matt Wake |, al, "A Red Rocks, Hollywood Bowl type venue in Huntsville? That’s the plan," 8 Nov. 2019 This was part of the exhibit’s design—every horizontal slide clicked to a new one after eight seconds, every vertical slide after 13 seconds—and there was excitement and frustration and pathos in their rotation. Leslie Jamison, The Atlantic, "The Lovely Solitude of Standing in a Crowd," 6 Nov. 2019 And when Mills backed off to prevent any type of vertical route, Cohen hooked up his pattern and worked back to the ball. Rich Campbell,, "5 observations from rewatching the Bears’ loss to the Eagles, including repeated self-destruction on first-and-10 and Tarik Cohen’s funk," 6 Nov. 2019 All of the companies currently under investigation have faced repeated accusations in recent years of leveraging their size and vertical market power to shove out competitors in comparatively old-fashioned unfair ways. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Antitrust 101: Why everyone is probing Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google," 5 Nov. 2019 Just a really good play by the defensive end to recognize it, see it and get vertical. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "No concussion for Detroit Lions rookie T.J. Hockenson from Raiders game," 4 Nov. 2019 Frohberg was last seen wearing a red and orange vertical striped shirt and navy blue pants. Christine Dempsey,, "Despite searches by land and air, police can’t find missing Suffield woman who disappeared from an Enfield restaurant," 4 Nov. 2019 Plans show the Beacham Theatre could see façade updates, returning elements from its construction in 1921, as well as a new vertical blade sign. Ryan Gillespie,, "The Beacham’s renovation plans will take it back to early Orlando: ‘It should be a showpiece’," 1 Nov. 2019 In the graphic, the horizontal x-axis depicts time, while the vertical y-axis represents population. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How Likely Is a Vampire Apocalypse? There's Math for That.," 31 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for vertical

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for vertical

The first known use of vertical was in 1559

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More Definitions for vertical


How to pronounce vertical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vertical

: positioned up and down rather than from side to side : going straight up
: having a structure in which there are top, middle, and bottom levels


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 vertically (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on vertical

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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