Meaning of VERTICAL in English


I. ˈvər]d.]ə̇kəl, ˈvə̄], ˈvəi], ]t], ]ēk-\ adjective

Etymology: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French vertical, from Late Latin verticalis, from Latin vertic-, vertex peak + -alis -al


a. : of or relating to the vertex : situated at the highest point : directly overhead or in the zenith

b. obsolete : being or relating to a high point (as of a life, of eminence, or of excellence)

c. : of or relating to the vertex of the head

d. : of, relating to, or being an aerial photograph taken with the camera pointing straight down or nearly so


a. : perpendicular to the plane of the horizon or to a primary axis : upright , plumb

a vertical line


(1) : located at right angles to the plane of a supporting surface

(2) : lying in the direction of an axis : lengthwise

c. : directed upward or downward at a right angle to the plane of the body or part of the surface of the earth

vertical fins of a fish

3. : relating to, involving, or integrating discrete elements (as from lowest to highest or from first to last): as

a. : consisting of two or more economic units on different levels of production or distribution

a vertical business organization

a completely vertical manufacturing operation — New York Times

b. : of, relating to, or comprising persons of different status

the vertical arrangement of society

race, religion, and nation are examples of vertical groups — C.M.Panunzio

— compare industrial union

4. : relating to harmony especially in a homophonic composition as contrasted with a contrapuntal one — compare horizontal 2b(3)

5. of a stamp : having a rectangular shape with the shorter sides forming the top and bottom

6. : coming from or involving action from above and specifically from the air

vertical warfare

especially : constituting aerial bombing from a craft flying parallel with the earth


perpendicular , plumb : vertical in general nontechnical use may suggest a line or direction rising upward toward a zenith

the design is the characteristic American perpendicular skyscraper style, with horizontal lines subdued and the vertical lines emphasized — American Guide Series: Minnesota

the vertical, or conventional, approach, was to begin at a designated place and time in history, and then climb the chronological ladder until you reached the present — Norman Cousins

and it may also be applied to a straight downward direction but is so used less frequently

face, as many have done and are doing, the level as opposed to the vertical fire of the enemy — Sir Winston Churchill

perpendicular may suggest a stiff straightness; it is somewhat more likely than vertical to suggest a downward line or straight drop or descent

it appears that the water is broken nowhere by striking against the rocks, and that therefore the descent is perpendicular — Anthony Trollope

the trail led under the foot of a high, almost perpendicular rock — C.G.D.Roberts

plumb in this sense is mainly an artisan's or builder's term indicating exact verticality capable of being ascertained by plumb line

the wall was not plumb

II. noun

( -s )

: something that is vertical: as

a. obsolete : vertex , height , summit

b. : a vertical line, plane, or circle ; especially : perpendicular

c. : a vertical member in a truss

d. : a vertical photograph : an aerial photograph taken with the camera pointed straight downward

e. : upright piano

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