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 But his trajectory from the first day of training camp until now has been darn near vertical. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ Tarvarius Moore might stay the starter after strong Week 1 performance," 13 Sep. 2019 Their female-centric vertical, ForbesWomen, targets the very audience their list suggests doesn’t even exist: the female leader. NBC News, "Stephanie Ruhle: The shame of Forbes' sexist innovators list," 10 Sep. 2019 Even Goldman has made a push into the world of consumer banking via its branchless, online-only Marcus by Goldman Sachs vertical, as well as its high-profile collaboration on the Apple Card, in search of new lines of revenue. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "Why Investment Banking Revenues Have Plunged to 13-Year Lows—and Which Firms are Feeling the Most Pain," 9 Sep. 2019 Riders will be spun horizontally before being launched into a near-vertical spin, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour, Six Flags New England said. Maria Lovato,, "New Supergirl-based roller coaster to open at Six Flags New England," 29 Aug. 2019 To combat glare, the screen is coated with a polarized layer, and it is angled slightly off-vertical to minimize reflections. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Porsche finally shows the interior of its new electric car," 22 Aug. 2019 The three-story, multispecialty clinic, which is expected to open in January, has gone vertical. Chris Shelton, Houston Chronicle, "Roundups: Steakhouse opens in Kingwood, Kelsey Seybold goes vertical in Kingwood," 8 Aug. 2019 Most of it is too vertical for human habitation: astonishingly, some 120 of its peaks exceed Mount Washington’s 6,288-foot elevation. David Holahan,, "Visiting Corsica: Up and Down and Around The Mountainous Mediterranean Idyll," 13 Sep. 2019 On a second, slightly larger gourd, add vertical or horizontal stripes with painter’s tape and black paint. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Monster Mash-Up Pumpkins," 9 Sep. 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

29 Oct 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).


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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