- the overhead interior surface of a room.
- the top limit imposed by law on the amount of money that can be charged or spent or the quantity of goods that can be produced or sold.
- the maximum altitude from which the earth can be seen on a particular day, usually equal to the distance between the earth and the base of the lowest cloud bank.
- Also called absolute ceiling.the maximum altitude at which a particular aircraft can operate under specified conditions.
- Meteorology. the height above ground level of the lowest layer of clouds that cover more than half of the sky.
- a lining applied for structural reasons to a framework, especially in the interior surfaces of a ship or boat.
- Also called ceiling piece. Theater. the ceiling or top of an interior set, made of cloth, a flat, or two or more flats hinged together.
- the act or work of a person who makes or finishes a ceiling.
- vaulting, as in a medieval church.
- hit the ceiling, Informal. to become enraged: When he saw the amount of the bill, he hit the ceiling.
Origin of ceiling
Origin of ceil
Related Words for ceilingbeam, plaster, roof, top, covert, dome, canopy, groin, timber, roofing, housetop, baldachin, record, superiority, plafond
Examples from the Web for ceiling
Contemporary Examples of ceiling
Fourteen years on, the wooden stairs and ceiling are still charred, and the walls are studded with clusters of bullet holes.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
He grasps the phone in his capable hand, outstretches his long arm toward the ceiling, and angles it down just so.The Ugly Truth About Cory Booker, New Jersey’s Golden Boy
October 20, 2014
The nuptials reportedly took place under a ceiling of rose petals, surrounded by 100 or more of their close friends and family.After the Wedding: George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin in Venice
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 28, 2014
Paper flags of countries that have fought for freedom hang on strings from the ceiling like nationalist Christmas lights.Scotland’s ‘Yes’ Campaign and the Myth of Scottish Equality
September 18, 2014
It was similarly painted and pasted with historical figures covering the walls and ceiling.On the Road With Kesey's (Drug-Free) Acid Test
August 27, 2014
Historical Examples of ceiling
They pass up the church-aisle, and raise their eyes to the ceiling.The New Adam and Eve (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
She raised her blue eyes toward the ceiling in a naive rapture.Within the Law
Mrs Verloc, on her back, and staring at the ceiling, made a remark.
His eyes ran over the walls, took in the ceiling, noted the floor—all in a moment.
Mr Pecksniff looked up to the ceiling, and clasped his hands in rapture.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
- the inner upper surface of a room
- an upper limit, such as one set by regulation on prices or wages
- (as modifier)ceiling prices
- the upper altitude to which an aircraft can climb measured under specified conditionsSee also service ceiling, absolute ceiling
- meteorol the highest level in the atmosphere from which the earth's surface is visible at a particular time, usually the base of a cloud layer
- a wooden or metal surface fixed to the interior frames of a vessel for rigidity
Word Origin for ceiling
- to line (a ceiling) with plaster, boarding, etc
- to provide with a ceiling
Word Origin for ceil
mid-14c., celynge, "act of paneling a room," noun formed (with -ing) from Middle English verb ceil "put a cover or ceiling over," later "cover (walls) with wainscoting, panels, etc." (early 15c.); probably from Middle French celer "to conceal," also "cover with paneling" (12c.), from Latin celare (see cell). Probably influenced by Latin caelum "heaven, sky" (see celestial).
Extended to the paneling itself from late 14c. The meaning "top surface of a room" is attested by 1530s. Figurative sense "upper limit" is from 1934. Colloquial figurative phrase hit the ceiling "lose one's temper, get explosively angry" attested by 1908; earlier it meant "to fail" (by 1900, originally U.S. college slang). Glass ceiling in the figurative sense of "invisible barrier that prevents women from advancing" in management, etc., is attested from 1988.
see glass ceiling; hit the ceiling.