1. Being or situated at right angles to the horizon; upright.
2. Situated at the vertex or highest point; directly overhead.
3. Anatomy Of or relating to the vertex of the head.
a. Relating to or involving all stages from production to sale: vertical integration.
b. Of or relating to a business model that offers a specific product or service to a specific customer base rather than offering a wide range of products or services in a wider market.
5. Relating to or composed of elements at different levels, as of society.
6. Medicine Of or relating to transmission of a disease or condition from parent to offspring, either through genetic inheritance or through circumstances occurring between conception and birth.
1. Something vertical, as a line, plane, or circle.
2. A vertical position.
[Late Latin verticālis, overhead, from Latin vertex, vertic-, highest point; see VERTEX.]
ver′ti·cali·ty (-kălĭ-tē), verti·cal·ness (-kəl-nĭs) n.
Synonyms: vertical, upright, perpendicular, plumb
These adjectives mean being at or approximately at right angles to the horizon or to level ground. Vertical and upright are often used to signify contrast with what is horizontal: wallpaper with vertical stripes; an upright column. Perpendicular and plumb are generally used to specify an angle of precisely 90 degrees: a perpendicular escarpment; careful to make the doorjambs plumb.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.