inclined plane


one of the simple machines, a plane surface inclined to the horizon, or forming with a horizontal plane any angle but a right angle.Compare machine(def 4b).

Origin of inclined plane

First recorded in 1700–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inclined plane

Historical Examples of inclined plane

  • Inclined-plane railways ascend it, and there is a hotel at the top, and also another railway along the crest of the ridge.

  • They are reached by inclined-plane railways from the lower grounds, as well as by winding roadways.

  • Various streets and stairways mount the great Quebec rock in zigzags, and there is also an inclined-plane passenger elevator.

  • Mount Pisgah rises high above, crowned with the chimneys of the machine-house of an inclined-plane railway.

  • Inclined-plane railways are constructed up the face of this hill, and mounting to the top, there is a superb view over the town.

British Dictionary definitions for inclined plane

inclined plane


a plane whose angle to the horizontal is less than a right angle
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

inclined plane in Science

inclined plane


A plane surface, such as a ramp or a blade, set at an acute angle to a horizontal surface, a direction of motion, or a direction of force. Inclined planes are used to increase the distance over which work is done, reducing the amount of force needed to impart energy to a system. Rolling a car up a hill, for example, requires less force than lifting it straight up off the ground. Many tools, such as the ax, wedge, chisel, and highway ramp, exploit the mechanical properties of the inclined plane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.