ver·​tig·​i·​nous | \ (ˌ)vər-ˈti-jə-nəs How to pronounce vertiginous (audio) \

Definition of vertiginous

1a : characterized by or suffering from vertigo or dizziness
b : inclined to frequent and often pointless change : inconstant
2 : causing or tending to cause dizziness the vertiginous heights
3 : marked by turning : rotary the vertiginous motion of the earth

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Other Words from vertiginous

vertiginously adverb

Did You Know?

It is generally necessary to avoid crowded rooms and the vertiginous influence of the dance, one 19th-century medical work advised. We're not sure what condition this advice was aimed at, but it may well have been "vertigo," a disordered state characterized by whirling dizziness. "Vertiginous," from the Latin vertiginosus, is the adjective form of "vertigo," which in Latin means a turning or whirling action. Both words descend from the Latin verb vertere, meaning "to turn." ("Vertiginous" and "vertigo" are just two of an almost dizzying array of "vertere" offspring, from "adverse" to "vortex.") The "dizzying" sense of "vertiginous" is often used figuratively, as in "vertiginous medical discoveries may drastically change life in the 21st century."

Examples of vertiginous in a Sentence

a 3-D effect that is likely to leave some audience members feeling vertiginous

Recent Examples on the Web

Chinese exports held up well in 2018 partly thanks to a vertiginous drop in the currency. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Trump Wants a Strong Yuan—He May Get It Regardless," 18 Mar. 2019 Along the Tourmalet ridge, thousands sat in a vertiginous and flowered meadow, as if in a natural IMAX theater. Michael Powell, New York Times, "Cycling Embraces Risk, Reward and the Super Tuck," 23 July 2019 With its vertiginous spiral of fakery, the invented but plausible scene captures the essence of Russia’s hybrid onslaught against Ukraine. The Economist, "A bold Ukrainian film-maker charts the line between fiction and truth," 25 July 2019 His voice is a rich alto rather than a vertiginous soprano, with a resonant warmth and an absence of shrillness. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Millennial Countertenor’s Pop-Star Appeal," 15 July 2019 The Sandman' is complex to the point of labyrinthine, non-linear to the point of vertiginous. Michael Schaub,, "Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ reportedly headed to the small screen," 1 July 2019 Artists and photographers began exploring vertiginous viewpoints soon after the advent of tall buildings and airplanes. Steven Litt,, "Cuyahoga 50 photo shows uncover fresh takes on the recovery of a once combustible river," 30 June 2019 One entire side of the Blue House structure is taken up by the pool, a semicircular, floor-to-ceiling cross-section of the home, and the rest of the roof is a pool deck-slash-patio area that can be reached by vertiginous circular stairs. Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "You've Never Seen a Poolhouse Like THIS Before," 21 June 2019 There’s something vertiginous in this view of life, a feeling that all the layers of complexity that let the organism thrive are there to look through, just as they were laid down by evolution. Quanta Magazine, "Giant Genetic Map Shows Life’s Hidden Links," 25 Oct. 2016

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

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vertiginous

Latin vertiginosus, from vertigin-, vertigo

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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The first known use of vertiginous was in 1608

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English Language Learners Definition of vertiginous

formal : causing or likely to cause a feeling of dizziness especially because of great height


ver·​tig·​i·​nous | \ (ˌ)vər-ˈtij-ə-nəs How to pronounce vertiginous (audio) \

Medical Definition of vertiginous

: of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with vertigo or dizziness

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vertiginous

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recurring in steady succession

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