verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to become erect; stand up or out.

Origin of erect

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin ērēctus raised up (past participle of ērigere), equivalent to ē- e-1 + reg- guide, direct (see royal) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formse·rect·a·ble, adjectivee·rect·ly, adverbe·rect·ness, nounnon·e·rect·ing, adjectivepre·e·rect, verb (used with object)re·e·rect, verb (used with object)self-e·rect·ed, adjectivesem·i·e·rect, adjectivesem·i·e·rect·ly, adverbsem·i·e·rect·ness, nounsub·e·rect, adjectivesub·e·rect·ly, adverbsub·e·rect·ness, nounun·e·rect, adjectiveun·e·rect·ed, adjectivewell-e·rect·ed, adjective

Synonyms for erect

1. standing, vertical. See upright. 6. upraise.

Antonyms for erect

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

Examples from the Web for erect

Contemporary Examples of erect

Historical Examples of erect

  • It is contemplated to erect a monument, by subscription, to Mr. Fessenden's memory.

    Biographical Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • She stood a little drooping and shaken, where for a moment she had been erect and tensed.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There entered the erect, heavy figure of the man whom Mary had hated through the years.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The little squirrel had squeaked his gladness, and, tail erect, had darted into the grass.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He was erect, pale and handsome, and his words came without a quiver.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

British Dictionary definitions for erect



upright in posture or position; not bent or leaningan erect stance
(of an optical image) having the same orientation as the object; not inverted
physiol (of the penis, clitoris, or nipples) firm or rigid after swelling with blood, esp as a result of sexual excitement
(of plant parts) growing vertically or at right angles to the parts from which they arise

verb (mainly tr)

to put up; construct; build
to raise to an upright position; lift upto erect a flagpole
to found or form; set up
(also intr) physiol to become or cause to become firm or rigid by filling with blood
to hold up as an ideal; exalt
optics to change (an inverted image) to an upright position
to draw or construct (a line, figure, etc) on a given line or figure, esp at right angles to it
Derived Formserectable, adjectiveerectly, adverberectness, noun

Word Origin for erect

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

late 14c., "upright, not bending," from Latin erectus "upright, elevated, lofty; eager, alert, aroused," past participle of erigere "raise or set up," from e- "up" + regere "to direct, keep straight, guide" (see regal).


c.1400, a back-formation from erect (adj.) or else from Latin erectus. Related: Erected; erecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for erect




Being in or having a vertical, upright position.
Being in or having a stiff, rigid physiological condition.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.