Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The height of a thing above a reference level, especially above sea level or above the earth's surface. See Synonyms at elevation.
  • n. A high location or area.
  • n. Astronomy The angular distance of a celestial object above the horizon.
  • n. Mathematics The perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex, parallel side, or parallel surface.
  • n. High position or rank.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The height measured from sea level up to any given point.
  • n. A vertical distance.
  • n. The distance measured perpendicularly from a figure's vertex to the opposite side of the vertex.
  • n. The angular distance of a heavenly body above our Earth's horizon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Space extended upward; height; the perpendicular elevation of an object above its foundation, above the ground, or above a given level, or of one object above another.
  • n. The elevation of a point, or star, or other celestial object, above the horizon, measured by the arc of a vertical circle intercepted between such point and the horizon. It is either true or apparent; true when measured from the rational or real horizon, apparent when from the sensible or apparent horizon.
  • n. The perpendicular distance from the base of a figure to the summit, or to the side parallel to the base
  • n. Height of degree; highest point or degree.
  • n. Height of rank or excellence; superiority.
  • n. Elevation of spirits; heroics; haughty airs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Space extended upward; height; the degree or amount of elevation of an object above its foundation, the ground, or a given level; the amount or distance by which one object is higher than another: as, the altitude of a mountain or a cloud.
  • n. The elevation of a point, star, or other object above the horizon, measured by the arc of a vertical intercepted between such point and the horizon.
  • n. An elevation or height; anything extending far upward.
  • n. Highest point or degree; full elevation.
  • n. Elevation of spirit; haughty air: in this sense generally used in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object)
  • n. elevation especially above sea level or above the earth's surface
  • n. the perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex (or side if parallel)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin altitūdō, from altus, high; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Latin altitudo ("height"), from altus ("high"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The high desert plains are beautiful and have a more temperate climate, but for some people, the altitude is a health problem.

    Crime

  • If you look at a place at high altitude you may want to consider renting first (instead of buying) just in case the altitude is a problem.

    Central Highlands

  • The folly in expecting students to sustain a school's academic reputation is, sadly, truth at most lower levels of education, where, as previously mentioned, socioeconomic altitude translates to level of success.

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  • And they all seem to be at the same altitude, which is what you'd expect if there was an ocean there that kind of flattened everything.

    More Evidence Of A Wet Past On Mars

  • That, if it's a military situation, then you've got carpet bombing from altitude, which is kind of the equivalent of having come from Krypton as a baby and to have gained unusual strength and the ability to fly because of Earth's lesser gravity.

    Legendary Comics Writer Alan Moore on Superheroes, The League, and Making Magic

  • And you start to get sick and it often happens when people get at altitude, which is why the name.

    CNN Transcript Feb 5, 2009

  • In a low altitude, that is just not possible for successful recovery.

    CNN Transcript Feb 16, 2009

  • And at a low altitude, that is just not possible for successful recovery.

    CNN Transcript Feb 16, 2009

  • And at low altitude, that is just not possible for successful recovery.

    CNN Transcript Feb 16, 2009

  • After studying the flight data recorder, investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Flight 826 had fallen less than 100 feet from its intended altitude, which is nothing much to pilots.

    A Fatal Jolt Over The Pacific

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