Meaning of AXIS in English


I. ˈaksə̇s noun

( plural ax·es -kˌsēz)

Etymology: Latin, axis, axle; akin to Old English eax axis, axle, Old High German ahsa, Old Norse öxull axle, Latin ala wing, axilla armpit, Greek axōn axle, axis, Sanskrit akṣa axle, axis, Latin agere to drive — more at agent


a. : a straight line about which a body or a 3-dimensional figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate

the earth's axis

b. : a straight line with respect to which a body, figure, or system of points is either radially or bilaterally symmetrical

the axis of a cone

c. : a straight line about which a line, curve, or plane figure is conceived to revolve in generating a solid of revolution

the axis of a hyperboloid

d. : one of the reference lines of a coordinate system

the X axis of a rectangular coordinate system

2. archaic : the axle of a wheel



(1) : 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 odontoid process which serves as a pivot for the atlas and head to turn upon — called also epistropheus

(2) : the first vertebra of amphibians

b. : any of various central, fundamental, or axial parts

the cerebrospinal axis

the skeletal axis

c. : axilla

4. : the median lobe of a trilobite

5. : the stem of a plant : the longitudinal support on which organs are arranged often including also the root, especially a taproot : the hypothetical central line of any body or organ

the axis of a stem, petiole, or inflorescence

6. : one of several imaginary lines assumed in describing the positions of the planes by which a crystal is bounded, the positions of atoms in the structure of the crystal, and the directions associated with vectorial and tensorial physical properties

7. : a main line of direction, motion, growth, or extension

the axis of a city


a. : a line following the crest of a ridge or mountain range or the bottom of a depression in the earth's surface: as

(1) : the crest line of an anticline

anticlinal axis

(2) : the trough line of a syncline

synclinal axis

b. : the average direction of current at flood or ebb tide

flood axis

ebb axis


a. in painting and sculpture : an implied line 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

10. : any of three fixed lines of reference in an aircraft, usually centroidal and mutually perpendicular, (1) one being the principal longitudinal line in the plane of symmetry, (2) one being perpendicular to this in the plane of symmetry, (3) one being perpendicular to the other two — called also respectively (1) longitudinal axis, (2) normal axis, (3) lateral axis

11. dancing

a. : the part of the body around which movements center and revolve

b. : the person, object, or imaginary line around which the dancers and dance patterns evolve or revolve


a. : an agreement entered into by two or more powers to demonstrate their solidarity of interest and to insure a common front and mutual support in foreign policies

the Nazi-Fascist axis

b. : the countries adhering to such an agreement

in the hope that either China or the London-Washington Axis … would listen — Time

13. : any agreement of two or more in a common objective : partnership , alliance

this unhealthy axis … made it so difficult to bring any real democratic reform to the graft-ridden docks — Budd Schulberg

II. noun

Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, a wild animal of India

1. also axis deer -es : a deer ( Axis axis ) of India and other parts of southern Asia having rusine antlers and white-spotted body

2. capitalized : a genus of Cervidae containing the axis and hog deer

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.