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  1. the height to which something is elevated or to which it rises: The elevation of the tower is 80 feet.
  2. the altitude of a place above sea level or ground level.
  3. an elevated place, thing, or part; an eminence.
  4. loftiness; grandeur or dignity; nobleness: elevation of mind.
  5. the act of elevating.
  6. the state of being elevated.
  7. Architecture. a drawing or design that represents an object or structure as being projected geometrically on a vertical plane parallel to one of its sides.
  8. Surveying.
    1. Also called angle of elevation.the angle between the line from an observer or instrument to an object above the observer or instrument and a horizontal line.
    2. the distance above a datum level.
  9. the ability of a dancer to stay in the air while executing a step or the height thus attained.
  10. the Elevation, Roman Catholic Church. the lifting by the celebrant of the Eucharistic elements immediately after consecration, for adoration by the communicants.

Origin of elevation

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin ēlevātiōn- (stem of ēlevātiō), equivalent to ēlevāt(us) (see elevate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·el·e·va·tion, nounre·el·e·va·tion, noun
Can be confusedaltitude elevation height (see synonym study at height)

Synonyms for elevation

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1. See height. 3. height; hill; mountain; plateau. 4. exaltation, nobility.

Antonyms for elevation

1. depth.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for elevation


  1. the act of elevating or the state of being elevated
  2. the height of something above a given or implied place, esp above sea level
  3. a raised area; height
  4. nobleness or grandeur; loftinesselevation of thought
  5. a drawing to scale of the external face of a building or structureCompare plan (def. 3), ground plan (def. 1)
  6. the external face of a building or structure
  7. a ballet dancer's ability to leap high
  8. RC Church the lifting up of the Host at Mass for adoration
  9. astronomy another name for altitude (def. 3)
  10. the angle formed between the muzzle of a gun and the horizontal
  11. surveying the angular distance between the plane through a point of observation and an object above itCompare depression (def. 7)
  12. linguistics another term for amelioration
Derived Formselevational, 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

Word Origin and History for elevation

late 14c., "a rising, height of something," from Old French elevation and directly from Latin elevationem (nominative elevatio) "a lifting up," noun of action from past participle stem of elevare (see elevate). Meaning "act of elevating" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

elevation in Science


  1. The vertical distance between a standard reference point, such as sea level, and the top of an object or point on the Earth, such as a mountain. At 8,850 m (29,028 ft), the summit of Mount Everest is the highest elevation on Earth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.