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[ver-tij-uh-nuh s] /vərˈtɪdʒ ə nəs/
whirling; spinning; rotary:
vertiginous currents of air.
affected with vertigo; dizzy.
liable or threatening to cause vertigo:
a vertiginous climb.
apt to change quickly; unstable:
a vertiginous economy.
Origin of vertiginous
1600-10; < Latin vertīginōsus dizzy, equivalent to vertīgin- (stem of vertīgō) vertigo + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
vertiginously, adverb
vertiginousness, noun
unvertiginous, adjective
unvertiginously, adverb
unvertiginousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vertiginous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Would she have prevented him from ever scaling his vertiginous Peak?

    The Golden Bowl Henry James
  • "You raise me to vertiginous heights," said Amaldi in the same tone.

    Shadows of Flames Amelie Rives
  • Amid this vertiginous tempest of tones Debora danced the Dance of Space.

    Visionaries James Huneker
  • The vertiginous noise in the ears has been explained in Section XX.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Erasmus Darwin
  • With a sudden bound that was meant to take it unaware, he was off, along the crest, at vertiginous speed.

    The Trimming of Goosie James Hopper
  • Then the vertiginous motion of the human top would overpower the force of gravitation.

  • But it is very humorous in itself, and the extensions and applications of it are illimitable and vertiginous.

  • And a fellow who isn't afraid of anything; a kind of squirrel, just as he is who climbs to vertiginous heights to shake down nuts.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • They had reduced themselves to motion in a universe of motions, with an acceleration, in their own case of vertiginous violence.

British Dictionary definitions for vertiginous


of, relating to, or having vertigo
producing dizziness
changeable; unstable
Derived Forms
vertiginously, adverb
vertiginousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vertīginōsus, from vertigo
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 vertiginous

c.1600, "of the nature of vertigo," from French vertigineux, from Latin vertiginosus "suffering from dizziness," from vertigo (see vertigo).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vertiginous in Medicine

vertiginous ver·tig·i·nous (vər-tĭj'ə-nəs)

  1. Affected by vertigo; dizzy.

  2. Tending to produce vertigo.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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