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[kyoo-bik] /ˈkyu bɪk/
having three dimensions; solid.
having the form of a cube; cubical.
pertaining to the measurement of volume:
the cubic contents of a vessel.
pertaining to a unit of linear measure that is multiplied by itself twice to form a unit of measure for volume:
cubic foot; cubic centimeter; cubic inch; cubic meter.
Mathematics. of or relating to the third degree.
Crystallography. belonging or pertaining to the isometric system of crystallization.
Mathematics. a cubic polynomial or equation.
Origin of cubic
1490-1500; earlier cubik < Latin cubicus < Greek kybikós. See cube1, -ic
Related forms
[kyoo-bis-i-tee] /kyuˈbɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
subcubic, adjective
uncubic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cubic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The combined capacity of two cubical tanks is 637 cubic feet, and the sum of an edge of one and an edge of the other is 13 feet.

    A Review of Algebra Romeyn Henry Rivenburg
  • More than forty million cubic yards of earth and rock were excavated.

    Commercial Geography Jacques W. Redway
  • We were established in a large straggling building of no attraction whatever except its cubic capacity.

    A Surgeon in Belgium Henry Sessions Souttar
  • This is because it takes a greater number of batches to the cubic yard.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • He said he felt safer after noting that the lifeboats were guaranteed to hold forty persons with cubic feet.

    Plum Pudding Christopher Morley
British Dictionary definitions for cubic


having the shape of a cube
  1. having three dimensions
  2. denoting or relating to a linear measure that is raised to the third power: a cubic metre Abbreviation cu., c
(maths) of, relating to, or containing a variable to the third power or a term in which the sum of the exponents of the variables is three
(crystallog) Also isometric, regular. relating to or belonging to the crystal system characterized by three equal perpendicular axes. The unit cell of cubic crystals is a cube with a lattice point at each corner (simple cubic) and one in the cube's centre (body-centred cubic), or a lattice point at each corner and one at the centre of each face (face-centred cubic)
  1. a cubic equation, such as x³ + x + 2 = 0
  2. a cubic term or expression
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cubic

1550s, from Middle French cubique (14c.), from Latin cubicus, from Greek kybikos, from kybos "cube" (see cube (n.)). Related: Cubical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cubic in Science
  1. Referring to a volume unit of measurement.

  2. Involving a number or a variable that has been raised to the third power.

  3. Relating to a crystal having three axes of equal length intersecting at right angles. The mineral pyrite has cubic crystals. Also called isometric. See illustration at crystal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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