View synonyms for erect


[ ih-rekt ]


  1. upright in position or posture:

    to stand or sit erect.

    Synonyms: vertical, standing

  2. raised or directed upward:

    a dog with ears erect.

  3. Botany. vertical throughout; not spreading or declined:

    an erect stem;

    an erect leaf or ovule.

  4. Heraldry.
    1. (of a charge) represented vertically, following the line of a pale:

      a sword erect.

    2. (of an animal or part of an animal) represented upright:

      a boar's head erect.

  5. Optics. (of an image) having the same position as the object; not inverted.

verb (used with object)

  1. to build; construct; raise:

    to erect a house.

    Synonyms: upend, upraise, set up, put up

  2. to raise and set in an upright or vertical position:

    to erect a telegraph pole.

  3. to set up or establish, as an institution; found.
  4. to bring about; cause to come into existence:

    to erect barriers to progress.

  5. Geometry. to draw or construct (a line or figure) upon a given line, base, or the like.
  6. to form or create legally (usually followed by into ):

    to erect a territory into a state.

  7. Optics. to change (an inverted image) to the normal position.
  8. Machinery. to assemble; make ready for use.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become erect; stand up or out.


/ ɪˈrɛkt /


  1. upright in posture or position; not bent or leaning

    an erect stance

  2. (of an optical image) having the same orientation as the object; not inverted
  3. physiol (of the penis, clitoris, or nipples) firm or rigid after swelling with blood, esp as a result of sexual excitement
  4. (of plant parts) growing vertically or at right angles to the parts from which they arise


  1. to put up; construct; build
  2. to raise to an upright position; lift up

    to erect a flagpole

  3. to found or form; set up
  4. also intr physiol to become or cause to become firm or rigid by filling with blood
  5. to hold up as an ideal; exalt
  6. optics to change (an inverted image) to an upright position
  7. to draw or construct (a line, figure, etc) on a given line or figure, esp at right angles to it

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Derived Forms

  • eˈrectable, adjective
  • eˈrectly, adverb
  • eˈrectness, noun

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Other Words From

  • e·rect·a·ble adjective
  • e·rect·ly adverb
  • e·rect·ness noun
  • non·e·rect·ing adjective
  • pre·e·rect verb (used with object)
  • re·e·rect verb (used with object)
  • sem·i·e·rect adjective
  • sem·i·e·rect·ly adverb
  • sem·i·e·rect·ness noun
  • sub·e·rect adjective
  • sub·e·rect·ly adverb
  • sub·e·rect·ness noun
  • un·e·rect adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of erect1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin ērēctus “raised up” (past participle of ērigere ), equivalent to ē- e- 1 + reg- “guide, direct” ( royal ) + -tus past participle suffix

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Word History and Origins

Origin of erect1

C14: from Latin ērigere to set up, from regere to control, govern

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Synonym Study

See upright.

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Example Sentences

Some have become radicalized by the president’s behavior, meeting fire with fire — from erecting guillotines to accosting Senators to defending violent looters as collecting what society owes them.

From Ozy

The government said the legislation aims to stop the EU erecting trade barriers between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland if no agreement can be reached on future arrangements for the region.

From Fortune

It would require the region to erect multiple new electric transmission lines through San Diego Gas and Electric territory to power the pumps that get the water where it would need to go.

Like one of Jim Henson’s darker creations, this was a goblin bird with mottled brown feathers puffed out, back hunched, and ear tufts erect and menacing.

It was where people lived and feasted while they erected Stonehenge.

The original metaphor was: erect a wall to keep the garden of the church free from the wilderness of politics.

Then Foley was shown on his knees, his body erect—even proud—clad in an orange tunic with no collar, and his head shaved.

For an hour or so after that, he sits erect, his chin tilted upward toward his accuser—defiant, even cunning, in his denials.

In fact, the effort to erect the Obamacare infrastructure is creating a large number of private-sector positions.

After a while, it will seem natural to erect a canopy to shield the worshipers from the elements.

He had seen through a powerful naval glass some figures standing erect and silhouetted against the sky on the parapet.

And with another bow the man from Paris drew himself erect, turned on his heel, and went jingling and creaking from the room.

Half-fed men would dig for diamonds, and men sheltered by a crazy roof erect the marble walls of palaces.

I intend to sail for that place in about a month or six weeks, but shall appoint agents in England to erect these engines.

As she spoke, a handsome man of middle age and erect carriage entered the room.