[ ih-rekt ]
See synonyms for: erecterectederectingerectness on

  1. upright in position or posture: to stand or sit erect.

  2. raised or directed upward: a dog with ears erect.

  1. Botany. vertical throughout; not spreading or declined: an erect stem;an erect leaf or ovule.

  2. Heraldry.

    • (of a charge) represented vertically, following the line of a pale: a sword erect.

    • (of an animal or part of an animal) represented upright: a boar's head erect.

  3. 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.

  2. to raise and set in an upright or vertical position: to erect a telegraph pole.

  1. to set up or establish, as an institution; found.

  2. to bring about; cause to come into existence: to erect barriers to progress.

  3. Geometry. to draw or construct (a line or figure) upon a given line, base, or the like.

  4. to form or create legally (usually followed by into): to erect a territory into a state.

  5. Optics. to change (an inverted image) to the normal position.

  6. Machinery. to assemble; make ready for use.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become erect; stand up or out.

Origin of erect

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

synonym study For erect

1. See upright.

Other words for erect

Opposites for erect

Other words from erect

  • 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use erect in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for erect


/ (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

  1. physiol (of the penis, clitoris, or nipples) firm or rigid after swelling with blood, esp as a result of sexual excitement

  2. (of plant parts) growing vertically or at right angles to the parts from which they arise

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to put up; construct; build

  2. to raise to an upright position; lift up: to erect a flagpole

  1. to found or form; set up

  2. (also intr) physiol to become or cause to become firm or rigid by filling with blood

  3. to hold up as an ideal; exalt

  4. optics to change (an inverted image) to an upright position

  5. to draw or construct (a line, figure, etc) on a given line or figure, esp at right angles to it

Origin of erect

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

Derived forms of erect

  • erectable, adjective
  • erectly, adverb
  • erectness, noun

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