axis of ordinates


noun, plural y-ax·es [wahy-ak-seez] /ˈwaɪˌæk siz/. Mathematics.
  1. Also called axis of ordinates. (in a plane Cartesian coordinate system) the axis, usually vertical, along which the ordinate is measured and from which the abscissa is measured.
  2. (in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system) the axis along which values of y are measured and at which both x and z equal zero.

Origin of y-axis

First recorded in 1925–30
Can be confusedx-axis y-axis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for axis-of-ordinates


  1. a reference axis, usually vertical, of a graph or two- or three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system along which the y- coordinate is measured
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

axis-of-ordinates in Science


  1. The vertical axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system.
  2. One of the three axes of a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.