[ al-ti-tood, -tyood ]
See synonyms for: altitudealtitudinous on

  1. the height of anything above a given planetary reference plane, especially above sea level on earth.

  2. extent or distance upward; height.

  1. Astronomy. the angular distance of a heavenly body above the horizon.

  2. Geometry.

    • the perpendicular distance from the vertex of a figure to the side opposite the vertex.

    • the line through the vertex of a figure perpendicular to the base.

  3. Usually altitudes. a high place or region: mountain altitudes.

  4. high or important position, rank, etc.

Origin of altitude

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin altitūdō; see origin at alti-, -tude

synonym study For altitude

1, 2. See height.

Other words for altitude

Opposites for altitude

Other words from altitude

  • al·ti·tu·di·nous [al-ti-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-], /ˌæl tɪˈtud n əs, -ˈtyud-/, adjective

Words that may be confused with altitude

Words Nearby altitude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use altitude in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for altitude


/ (ˈæltɪˌtjuːd) /

  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

  1. Also called: elevation astronomy nautical the angular distance of a celestial body from the horizon measured along the vertical circle passing through the body: Compare azimuth (def. 1)

  2. surveying the angle of elevation of a point above the horizontal plane of the observer

  3. (often plural) a high place or region

Origin of altitude

C14: from Latin altitūdō, from altus high, deep

Derived forms of altitude

  • altitudinal, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for altitude


[ ăltĭ-tōōd′ ]

  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.

  1. 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.