- 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.
Definition for ceiling (2 of 2)
verb (used with object)
Origin of ceil
Examples from the Web for 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|Nina Strochlic|November 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Olivia Nuzzi|October 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
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|Noah Caldwell|September 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was similarly painted and pasted with historical figures covering the walls and ceiling.
"I certainly don't spend my whole time lying on my back looking at the ceiling," she answered rather brusquely.The Limit|Ada Leverson
I was too frightened to move for several minutes, but when I looked up the ceiling was back in place as if nothing had touched it.Seeing Things at Night|Heywood Broun
He went on with his work of making a hole large enough in the ceiling to let himself through to the room beneath.Warriors of Old Japan and Other Stories|Yei Theodora Ozaki
The ceiling and the walls, as you will observe, are covered with names.Summer Days in Shakespeare Land|Charles G. Harper
Stubbs settled further back in his chair and studied the ceiling.The Web of the Golden Spider|Frederick Orin Bartlett
British Dictionary definitions for ceiling (1 of 2)
- an upper limit, such as one set by regulation on prices or wages
- (as modifier)ceiling prices
Word Origin for ceiling
British Dictionary definitions for ceiling (2 of 2)
Word Origin for ceil
Word Origin and History for ceiling
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.
Idioms and Phrases with ceiling
see glass ceiling; hit the ceiling.