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.

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. Matthew Finn:

    The risk that we always have in aviation security is can someone get something on board an aircraft. So a lot of our time and attention has been focused on mitigating the risk of people getting things on an aircraft. What the Fly-Bag does is it actually accepts that there maybe an instance where somebody is successful in getting something on board an aircraft. And therefore, the next question becomes how can we mitigate the effect of an explosive device detonating at altitude in an aircraft.

  2. Melissa Dalton:

    Because we have not yet been able to definitively assess what these recent objects are, we have acted out of an abundance of caution to protect our security and interests, the spy balloon from (China) was of course different in that we knew precisely what (it) was. These most recent objects do not pose a kinetic military threat, but their path in proximity to sensitive (defense) sites and the altitude that they were flying could be a hazard to civilian aviation and thus raised concerns.

  3. Dan Seaton:

    These could well turn out to be the best ever observations of high frequency phenomena in the corona, extending the observing time and going to very high altitude might allow us to see a few events or track waves that would be essentially invisible in just two minutes of observations from the ground.

  4. Roland Siegwart:

    We are now at a stage where we have built a couple of these airplanes where we are doing testing because the second goal is that they can fly at low altitude, close to the ground, so that they can perceive the ground with on-board cameras and then actually build a 3D map and then also do collision avoidance, for example, and explore different settings.

  5. Tshering Sherpa:

    The body weighed 150kg [23.6 stone] and it had to be recovered from a difficult place at that altitude. It was a Herculean task.

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"altitude." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/altitude>.

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    an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
    • A. flub
    • B. knead
    • C. lucubrate
    • D. caddie

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