axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ ˈak-​ˌsēz How to pronounce axis (audio) \

Essential Meaning of axis

1 : the imaginary straight line that something (such as the Earth) turns around the Earth's axis of rotation the spin of the Earth on its axis
2 : a straight line that divides a shape evenly into two parts

Full Definition of axis

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate the Earth's axis
b : a straight line with respect to which a body or figure is symmetrical the axis of a cone

called also axis of symmetry

c : a straight line that bisects at right angles a system of parallel chords of a curve and divides the curve into two symmetrical parts
d : one of the reference lines of a coordinate system (see coordinate entry 3 sense 1a)
2 anatomy
a : the second vertebra of the neck on which the head and first vertebra turn as on a pivot
b : any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts
3 botany : a plant stem
4 crystallography : one of several imaginary lines assumed in describing the positions of the planes by which a crystal is bounded and the positions of atoms in the structure of the crystal
5 : a main line of direction, motion, growth, or extension the axis of a city
6a : an implied line in painting or sculpture through a composition to which elements in the composition are referred fruit and flowers arranged about a diagonal axis
b : a line actually drawn and used as the basis of measurements in an architectural or other working drawing
7 aviation : any of three fixed lines of reference in an aircraft that run in the longitudinal, lateral, and vertical directions, are mutually perpendicular, and usually pass through the aircraft's center of gravity
8 : partnership, alliance an axis of countries
9 : a point or continuum on which something centers an axis of social power

Axis

adjective

Definition of Axis (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the three powers Germany, Italy, and Japan engaged against the Allied nations in World War II

Examples of axis in a Sentence

Noun the Earth's axis of rotation the spin of the Earth on its axis
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In short six elements rotate: two spaceships, two tourbillons and two tourbillon cages that also spin on their own axis. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 25 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, the magnetic north pole is shifting off its usual axis and no one in the scientific community can explain why. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 20 Sep. 2021 The sports card market was flipped on its axis when MLB awarded Fanatics both its MLBPA and MLB licenses in August 2021. Nick Diunte, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 But after the Rams’ own senior running back, Ellis Bynum, scored on a 13-yard run, the game shifted on its axis in favor of Central Catholic. oregonlive, 4 Dec. 2021 The earth was about to shift on its axis; or the guilty would be swept away in a flood of biblical proportions. Richard J. Evans, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2021 Columnist Robin Abcarian says the world has definitely shifted on its axis since her now-adult daughter was a toddler. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2021 The soccer-field-sized space station had completed about one-eighth of a turn on its axis when ground controllers regained control. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 The college coaching carousel spun off its axis this week and who knows how, or if, it ever gets righted. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Dec. 2021

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axis

Noun

Latin, axis, axle; akin to Old English eax axis, axle, Greek axōn, Lithuanian ašis, Sanskrit akṣaḥ

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Time Traveler for axis

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near axis

axion

axis

Axis

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Statistics for axis

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Axis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/axis. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for axis

axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ ˈak-​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of axis

1 : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be thought of as rotating the earth's axis
2 : a line of reference used to assign numbers to locations in a geometric plane

axis

noun
ax·​is | \ ˈak-səs How to pronounce axis (audio) \
plural axes\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce axis (audio) \

Medical Definition of axis

1a : a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be thought of as rotating
b : a straight line with respect to which a body, organ, or figure is symmetrical
2a : the second vertebra of the neck of the higher vertebrates that is prolonged anteriorly within the foramen of the first vertebra and united with the dens which serves as a pivot for the atlas and head to turn upon

called also epistropheus

b : any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts the cerebrospinal axis the skeletal axis
c : axilla

More from Merriam-Webster on axis

Nglish: Translation of axis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of axis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about axis

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