What does altitude mean?

Definitions for altitude
ˈæl tɪˌtud, -ˌtyudal·ti·tude

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word altitude.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. altitude, heightnoun

    elevation especially above sea level or above the earth's surface

    "the altitude gave her a headache"

  2. altitudenoun

    the perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex (or side if parallel)

  3. elevation, EL, altitude, ALTnoun

    angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object)


  1. altitudenoun

    The height measured from sea level up to any given point.

    As the altitude increases, the temperature gets lower, so remember to bring warm clothes to the mountains.

  2. altitudenoun

    A vertical distance.

  3. altitudenoun

    The distance measured perpendicularly from a figure's vertex to the opposite side of the vertex.

    The perpendicular height of a triangle is known as its altitude.

  4. altitudenoun

    The angular distance of a heavenly body above our Earth's horizon.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Altitudenoun

    Etymology: altitudo, Lat.

    Ten masts attach’d make not the altitude,
    Which thou hast perpendicularly fall’n. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Some define the perpendicular altitude of the highest mountains to be four miles; others but fifteen furlongs. Brown.

    She shines above, we know, but in what place,
    How near the throne, and heav’n’s imperial face,
    By our weak opticks is but vainly guess’d;
    Distance and altitude conceal the rest. Dryden.

    Even unto the latitude of fifty-two, the efficacy thereof is not much considerable, whether we consider its ascent, meridian, altitude, or abode above the horizon. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    Has not a poet more virtues and vices within his circle, cannot he observe them and their influences in their several situations, in their oppositions and conjunctions, in their altitudes and depressions? Thomas Rymer, Tragedies of last Age.

    Those members which are pairs, stand by one another in equal altitude, and answer on each side one to another. John Ray.

    Your altitude offends the eyes
    Of those who want the power to rise.
    The world, a willing stander-by,
    Inclines to aid a specious lye. Jonathan Swift.

    He did it to please his mother, and to be partly proud; which he is, even to the altitude of his virtue. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.


  1. Altitude

    Altitude or height (also sometimes known as depth) is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The exact definition and reference datum varies according to the context (e.g., aviation, geometry, geographical survey, sport, or atmospheric pressure). Although the term altitude is commonly used to mean the height above sea level of a location, in geography the term elevation is often preferred for this usage. Vertical distance measurements in the "down" direction are commonly referred to as depth.


  1. altitude

    Altitude generally refers to the height or distance of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level. In geography, it is used to measure the elevation of a specific location, such as a mountain peak, above sea level. In aviation, it refers to the vertical distance of an aircraft from the ground or sea level. In astronomy, altitude refers to the angle between an object in the sky and the observer's horizon.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Altitudenoun

    space extended upward; height; the perpendicular elevation of an object above its foundation, above the ground, or above a given level, or of one object above another; as, the altitude of a mountain, or of a bird above the top of a tree

  2. Altitudenoun

    the elevation of a point, or star, or other celestial object, above the horizon, measured by the arc of a vertical circle intercepted between such point and the horizon. It is either true or apparent; true when measured from the rational or real horizon, apparent when from the sensible or apparent horizon

  3. Altitudenoun

    the perpendicular distance from the base of a figure to the summit, or to the side parallel to the base; as, the altitude of a triangle, pyramid, parallelogram, frustum, etc

  4. Altitudenoun

    height of degree; highest point or degree

  5. Altitudenoun

    height of rank or excellence; superiority

  6. Altitudenoun

    elevation of spirits; heroics; haughty airs

  7. Etymology: [L. altitudo, fr. altus high. Cf. Altar, Haughty, Enhance.]


  1. Altitude

    Altitude or height is defined based on the context in which it is used. As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context. Although the term altitude is commonly used to mean the height above sea level of a location, in geography the term elevation is often preferred for this usage. Vertical distance measurements in the "down" direction are commonly referred to as depth.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Altitude

    alt′i-tude, n. height: a point or position at a height above the sea: high rank or eminence.—n.pl. Alt′itudes, passion, excitement.—adj. Altitū′dinal.—n. Altitudinā′rian, one given to flightiness in doctrine or belief. [L. altitudoaltus, high.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Altitude

    A vertical distance measured from a known level on the surface of a planet or other celestial body.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. altitude

    The vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point, measured from mean sea level. See also drop altitude; elevation; minimum safe altitude.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. altitude

    The elevation of any of the heavenly bodies above the plane of the horizon, or its angular distance from the horizon, measured in the direction of a great circle passing through the zenith. Also the third dimension of a body, considered with regard to its elevation above the ground.--Apparent altitude is that which appears by sensible observations made on the surface of the globe.--Altitude of the pole. The arc of the meridian between the pole of the heavens and the horizon of any place, and therefore equal to its geographical latitude.--Altitude of the cone of the earth's and moon's shadow, is the height of the one or the other during an eclipse, and is measured from the centre of the body.--Altitude of a shot or shell. The perpendicular height of the vertex of the curve in which it moves above the horizon.--Meridian altitude. The arc of the meridian,--or greater or less altitude, measured from the horizon, of a celestial object in its passage over the meridian, above or below the pole, of the place of the observer. In Polar regions two such transits of the sun, and in England similarly, circumpolar stars afford double observations for the determination of time or latitude. The general term is understood by seamen to denote mid-day, when the passage and meridian altitude of the sun affords the latitude.--True altitude is that produced by correcting the apparent one for parallax and refraction.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. altitude

    Height, or distance from the ground, measured upwards, and may be both accessible and inaccessible. Altitude of a shot or shell, is the perpendicular height of the vortex of the curve in which it moves above the horizon. Altitude of the eye, in perspective is a right line let fall from the eye, perpendicular to the geometrical plane.

Editors Contribution

  1. altitude

    A specific height.

    The altitude on the mountain top was easy to manage.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 16, 2020  

Matched Categories

How to pronounce altitude?

How to say altitude in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of altitude in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of altitude in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of altitude in a Sentence

  1. Ryan Pack:

    Heights: For all of you who are afraid of heights, think of it like this: The greater the altitude, the more intense the fear may be, but the farther you are from splattering.

  2. Clay Cowl:

    My fear is that public tolerance for a bad outcome is not like it was when we introduced the public to regular flight in fixed-wing aircraft. There were a lot of health risks at that time before we came up with things like pressurized cabins, before we came up with ways to mitigate the problems with traveling at altitude.

  3. Vince Reffett:

    It's the result of extremely thorough teamwork, where each small step generated huge results. Everything was planned to the split second, and I was overjoyed by the progress that was achieved. It is another step in a long-term project. One of the next objectives is to land back on the ground after a flight at altitude, without needing to open a parachute. It's being worked on.

  4. Amir Hatami:

    With a range of more than 1,300 km ... this cruise missile needs a very short time for its preparedness and can fly at a low altitude.

  5. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov:

    Such operations by Israeli strategists gamble the lives of hundreds of innocent people, the movement of regular passenger flights both in Syrian airspace and around the world is carried out in known, high-altitude echelons, which Israeli radar can clearly see.

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"altitude." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/altitude>.

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