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altitude Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun elevation especially above sea level or above the earth's surface
    height.
    • the altitude gave her a headache
  2. noun the perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex (or side if parallel)
  3. noun angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object)
    EL; elevation; ALT.
WordNet

Al"ti*tude noun
Etymology
L. altitudo, fr. altus high. Cf. Altar, Haughty, Enhance.
Definitions
  1. 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; as, the altitude of a mountain, or of a bird above the top of a tree.
  2. (Astron.) 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.
  3. (Geom.) The perpendicular distance from the base of a figure to the summit, or to the side parallel to the base; as, the altitude of a triangle, pyramid, parallelogram, frustum, etc.
  4. Height of degree; highest point or degree.
    He is [proud] even to the altitude of his virtue. Shak.
  5. Height of rank or excellence; superiority. Swift.
  6. pl. Elevation of spirits; heroics; haughty airs. Colloq. Richardson.
    The man of law began to get into his altitude. Sir W. Scott.

Webster 1913