[ver-tij-uh-nuh s]


whirling; spinning; rotary: vertiginous currents of air.
affected with vertigo; dizzy.
liable or threatening to cause vertigo: a vertiginous climb.
apt to change quickly; unstable: a vertiginous economy.

Origin of vertiginous

1600–10; < Latin vertīginōsus dizzy, equivalent to vertīgin- (stem of vertīgō) vertigo + -ōsus -ous
Related formsver·tig·i·nous·ly, adverbver·tig·i·nous·ness, nounun·ver·tig·i·nous, adjectiveun·ver·tig·i·nous·ly, adverbun·ver·tig·i·nous·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for vertiginous

dizzy, giddy, revolving, unstable, whirling, rotating, spinning, turning

Examples from the Web for vertiginous

Contemporary Examples of vertiginous

  • His prophecy kicked off a vertiginous frenzy of doomsaying, and he was thrown in jail by fearful Bolognese officials.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Volcano That Rewrote History

    William O’Connor

    May 5, 2014

Historical Examples of vertiginous

  • Would she have prevented him from ever scaling his vertiginous Peak?

    The Golden Bowl

    Henry James

  • "You raise me to vertiginous heights," said Amaldi in the same tone.

    Shadows of Flames

    Amelie Rives

  • Amid this vertiginous tempest of tones Debora danced the Dance of Space.


    James Huneker

  • The vertiginous noise in the ears has been explained in Section XX.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I

    Erasmus Darwin

  • With a sudden bound that was meant to take it unaware, he was off, along the crest, at vertiginous speed.

British Dictionary definitions for vertiginous



of, relating to, or having vertigo
producing dizziness
changeable; unstable
Derived Formsvertiginously, adverbvertiginousness, noun

Word Origin for vertiginous

C17: from Latin vertīginōsus, from vertigo
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 vertiginous

c.1600, "of the nature of vertigo," from French vertigineux, from Latin vertiginosus "suffering from dizziness," from vertigo (see vertigo).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vertiginous in Medicine




Affected by vertigo; dizzy.
Tending to produce vertigo.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.