Meaning of CEILING in English


ˈsēliŋ, -ēŋ noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English celing, from celen to ceil + -ing — more at ceil


a. obsolete : woodwork lining the roof or walls of a room : wainscoting

b. obsolete : a wall hanging or tapestry

c. : the overhead inside lining of a room : the underside of the floor above

d. : planking that lines the inside and bottom of a wooden ship or that covers the inner bottom of a steel ship — see ship illustration

e. : material used to ceil a wall or roof of a room ; especially : narrow beaded matchboards used for wainscoting

f. : an uppermost surface of a cavity or chamber

2. : something thought of as an overhanging shelter or lofty canopy

above the gulls was a ceiling of terns — Llewellyn Howland

an incredible ceiling of stars — M.P.O'Connor


a. : the height above the ground from which prominent objects on the ground can be seen and identified

b. : the height above the ground of the base of the lowest layer of clouds when over half of the sky is obscured


a. : absolute ceiling

b. : service ceiling

5. : the maximum height to which a projectile rises upon being fired from a gun

6. or ceiling frame : a canvas-covered frame suspended horizontally over a theater set to close it off on top


a. : an upper limit imposed by an authoritative ruling above which a particular quantity or rate is not to be allowed to rise

a ceiling on prices, wages, rents, profits, new construction

asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling

a 4-million manpower ceiling on the armed forces

b. : an uppermost limit determined by conditions and circumstances of a particular situation

the speed ceiling of a helicopter

c. : a top level determined by economic factors

today's stock market averages broke through all previous ceilings

d. : any deliberately prescribed limit on increase in amount or quantity

e. : a barrier against potential rise in status or prestige

f. : an upper limit of ability or capability

a low ceiling of tolerance

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