ver·​tex | \ ˈvər-ˌteks \
plural vertices\ ˈvər-​tə-​ˌsēz \ 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

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 In evolutionary graph theory, individual organisms occupy every vertex. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018 On Saturday, Marijn Heule, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin, found one with just 874 vertices. Evelyn Lamb, WIRED, "An Anti-Aging Pundit Solves a Decades-Old Math Problem," 30 Apr. 2018 Existing small drones are usually polycopters—helicopters that have a set of rotors (generally four or six) arranged at the vertices of a regular polygon, rather than a single one above their centre of gravity. The Economist, "Miniature roboticsMilitary robots are getting smaller and more capable," 14 Dec. 2017 And a narrowing of the cerebrospinal fluid spaces at the vertex, the top of the skull, was apparent in 12 long-term astronauts but only one of the short-term astronauts. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Long-term spaceflight 'squeezes' the brain, study says," 1 Nov. 2017 In graph theory, however, the points are called vertices and the lines are called edges. Arthur Benjamin, Scientific American, "How Math Puzzles Help You Plan the Perfect Party," 2 Aug. 2017 Since the cone has its vertex at the origin, the radius of each horizontal slice will be the x value of that function. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "How Much Dirt From This Diamond Mine?," 2 Jan. 2013

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

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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 \
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 \
plural vertices\ ˈvərt-​ə-​ˌsēz \ also vertexes

Medical Definition of vertex

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on vertex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vertex

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vertex

Spanish Central: Translation of vertex

Nglish: Translation of vertex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vertex for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vertex

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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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