[ ak-sis ]
/ ˈæk sɪs /
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See synonyms for: axis / axes on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural ax·es [ak-seez]. /ˈæk siz/.
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Origin of axis

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; from Latin axis “an axletree, axle, axis”; see origin at axi-


ax·ised [ak-sist], /ˈæk sɪst/, adjectiveun·ax·ised, adjective

Other definitions for axis (2 of 2)

[ ak-sis ]
/ ˈæk sɪs /

noun, plural ax·is·es.

Origin of axis

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin axis “a wild animal of India, perhaps the spotted deer” (Pliny)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use axis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for axis (1 of 3)

/ (ˈæksɪs) /

noun plural axes (ˈæksiːz)

Word Origin for axis

C14: from Latin: axletree, earth's axis; related to Greek axōn axis

British Dictionary definitions for axis (2 of 3)

/ (ˈæksɪs) /

noun plural axises
any of several S Asian deer of the genus Axis, esp A. axis. They typically have a reddish-brown white-spotted coat and slender antlers

Word Origin for axis

C18: from Latin: Indian wild animal, of uncertain identity

British Dictionary definitions for axis (3 of 3)

/ (ˈæksɪs) /

  1. the Axis the alliance of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Japan, established in 1936 and lasting until their defeat in World War II
  2. (as modifier)the Axis powers
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 axis

[ ăksĭs ]

Plural axes (ăksēz′)
An imaginary line around which an object rotates. In a rotating sphere, such as the Earth and other planets, the two ends of the axis are called poles. The 23.45° tilt of the Earth's axis with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun causes the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to point toward and away from the Sun at different times of the year, creating seasonal patterns of weather and climate. Other planets in the solar system have widely varying tilts to their axes, ranging from near 0° for Mercury to 177° for Venus.
  1. A line, ray, or line segment with respect to which a figure or object is symmetrical.
  2. A reference line from which distances or angles are measured in a coordinate system, such as the x-axis and y-axis in the Cartesian coordinate system.
Anatomy The second cervical vertebra, which serves as a pivot for the head.
Botany The main stem or central part of a plant or plant part, about which other plant parts, such as branches or leaflets, are arranged.

Other words from axis

axial adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for axis (1 of 2)


An imaginary straight line passing through the North Pole, the center of the Earth, and the South Pole. The Earth rotates around this axis.

Cultural definitions for axis (2 of 2)


In geometry, a straight line about which an object may rotate or that divides an object into symmetrical halves.

notes for axis

The axis of the Earth is an imaginary line drawn through the North Pole and the South Pole.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.