[hawr-uh-zon-tl, hor-]
See more synonyms for horizontal on Thesaurus.com
  1. at right angles to the vertical; parallel to level ground.
  2. flat or level: a horizontal position.
  3. being in a prone or supine position; recumbent: His bad back has kept him horizontal for a week.
  4. near, on, or parallel to the horizon.
  5. of or relating to the horizon.
  6. measured or contained in a plane parallel to the horizon: a horizontal distance.
  7. (of material on a printed page, pieces on a game board, etc.) extending across, from the left to the right of the viewer.
  8. of or relating to a position or individual of similar status: He received a horizontal promotion to a different department, retaining his old salary and title.
  9. Economics. of or relating to companies, affiliates, divisions, etc., that perform the same or similar functions or produce the same or similar products: Through horizontal mergers the company monopolized its field.
  1. anything horizontal, as a plane, direction, or object.

Origin of horizontal

1545–55; < Latin horizont- (stem of horizōn) horizon + -al1
Related formshor·i·zon·tal·i·ty [hawr-i-zon-tal-i-tee, hor-] /ˌhɔr ɪ zɒnˈtæl ɪ ti, ˌhɒr-/, hor·i·zon·tal·ness, nounhor·i·zon·tal·ly, adverbsub·hor·i·zon·tal, adjectivesub·hor·i·zon·tal·ly, adverbsub·hor·i·zon·tal·ness, nounun·hor·i·zon·tal, adjectiveun·hor·i·zon·tal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for horizontal

Contemporary Examples of horizontal

Historical Examples of horizontal

  • And bit by bit—how we don't know—the horizontal zigzag is accomplished.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Then come the struts, the main pieces which join the horizontal beams.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • This consists of two sections, one horizontal, the other vertical.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Then he remounted and gripped the pipe in the middle of its horizontal section.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Tree of slow growth, with horizontal, yellowish-barked branches.

British Dictionary definitions for horizontal


  1. parallel to the plane of the horizon; level; flatCompare vertical (def. 1)
  2. of or relating to the horizon
  3. measured or contained in a plane parallel to that of the horizon
  4. applied uniformly or equally to all members of a group
  5. economics relating to identical stages of commercial activityhorizontal integration
  1. a horizontal plane, position, line, etc
Derived Formshorizontality or horizontalness, nounhorizontally, adverb
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 horizontal

1550s, "relating to or near the horizon," from French horizontal, from Latin horizontem (see horizon). Meaning "flat" (i.e., "parallel to the horizon") is from 1630s. Related: horizontally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper