[al-ti-tood, -tyood]
See more synonyms for altitude on
  1. the height of anything above a given planetary reference plane, especially above sea level on earth.
  2. extent or distance upward; height.
  3. Astronomy. the angular distance of a heavenly body above the horizon.
  4. Geometry.
    1. the perpendicular distance from the vertex of a figure to the side opposite the vertex.
    2. the line through the vertex of a figure perpendicular to the base.
  5. Usually altitudes. a high place or region: mountain altitudes.
  6. high or important position, rank, etc.

Origin of altitude

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin altitūdō; see alti-, -tude
Related formsal·ti·tu·di·nous [al-ti-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-] /ˌæl tɪˈtud n əs, -ˈtyud-/, adjective
Can be confusedaltitude elevation height (see synonym study at height)altitude attitude

Synonyms for altitude

See more synonyms for on
1. elevation. 1, 2. See height.

Antonyms for altitude

2. depth. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for altitude

distance, elevation, peak, apex, eminence, summit, loftiness

Examples from the Web for altitude

Contemporary Examples of altitude

Historical Examples of altitude

  • The altitude record at this time is about 4,165 feet, held by Paulhan.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The tree-topped hills in their altitude are at times lost in the clouds.

  • Like a fine fruit, it will grow in one climate and not in another; at one altitude and not at another.

    Pax Vobiscum

    Henry Drummond

  • He turned as they turned and climbed as they climbed for the advantage that altitude might give.

  • From their altitude of four thousand feet, they could see the Denver.

    The Solar Magnet

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

British Dictionary definitions for altitude


  1. the vertical height of an object above some chosen level, esp above sea level; elevation
  2. geometry the perpendicular distance from the vertex to the base of a geometrical figure or solid
  3. Also called: elevation astronomy nautical the angular distance of a celestial body from the horizon measured along the vertical circle passing through the bodyCompare azimuth (def. 1)
  4. surveying the angle of elevation of a point above the horizontal plane of the observer
  5. (often plural) a high place or region
Derived Formsaltitudinal, adjective

Word Origin for altitude

C14: from Latin altitūdō, from altus high, deep
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

Word Origin and History for altitude

late 14c., from Latin altitudinem (nominative altitudo) "height, altitude," from altus "high" (see old).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

altitude in Science


  1. The height of an object or structure above a reference level, usually above sea level or the Earth's surface.
  2. Astronomy The position of a celestial object above an observer's horizon, measured in degrees along a line between the horizon (0°) and the zenith (90°). Unlike declination and celestial latitude-the corresponding points in other celestial coordinate systems-the altitude of star or other celestial object is dependent on an observer's geographic location and changes steadily as the sky passes overhead due to the rotation of the Earth. See more at altazimuth coordinate system.
  3. Mathematics The perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure, such as a triangle, to the opposite vertex, side, or surface.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.