AskDefine | Define height

Dictionary Definition



1 the vertical dimension of extension; distance from the base of something to the top [syn: tallness]
2 the highest level or degree attainable; "his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty"; "the artist's gifts are at their acme"; "at the height of her career"; "the peak of perfection"; "summer was at its peak"; "...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame"; "the summit of his ambition"; "so many highest superlatives achieved by man"; "at the top of his profession" [syn: acme, elevation, peak, pinnacle, summit, superlative, top]
3 natural height of a person or animal in an upright position [syn: stature]
4 elevation especially above sea level or above the earth's surface; "the altitude gave her a headache" [syn: altitude]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /haɪt/, /haIt/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪt


  1. The distance from the base of something to the top.
    • Robert Frost
      Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
  2. Height of a standing person or animal (withers).


distance from bottom to top
  • Czech: výška
  • Ewe: kɔkɔme
  • Finnish: korkeus
  • French: hauteur
  • German: Höhe
  • Greek: ύψος
  • Hebrew:
  • Italian: altezza
  • Japanese: 高さ
  • Kurdish:
  • Latin: altitudo
  • Lithuanian: aukštis , aukštumas
  • Portuguese: altura
  • Russian: высота
  • Spanish: altura
  • Swedish: höjd
  • Finnish: pituus
  • Japanese: 身長 (of persons, animals), 体高(withers height of animals)
  • Portuguese: altura
  • Russian: рост
  • Swedish: mankhöjd


Related terms

External links

Extensive Definition

Height is the measurement of vertical distance, but has two meanings in common use. It can either indicate how "tall" something is, or how "high up" it is. For example one could say "That is a tall building", or "That airplane is high up in the sky". These can both be referred to as the height of the object, as in "The height of the building is 50m" or "The height of the airplane is 10 000m". When used to describe how high something like an airplane or mountain peak is from sea level, height is more often called altitude. Height is measured along the vertical (y) axis between a specified point and another point.

In mathematics

Dimensional models assert height as the third dimension, more accurately referred to as depth, the other two being length and width, which form a two-dimensional plane of reference. In this model, the dimension of height is measured along a line traveling from the point in question and intersecting the plane of reference at a 90 degree angle.

In geology

Although height is relative to a plane of reference, most measurements of height in the physical world are based upon a zero surface, known as sea-level. Both altitude and elevation, two synonyms for height, are usually defined as the position of a point above the sea-level. One can extend the sea-level surface under the continents: naively, one can imagine a lot of narrow canals through the continents. In practice, the sea-level under a continent has to be computed from gravity measurements, and slightly different computational methods exist, see Geodesy, heights.

In geodesy

Instead of using the sea-level, geodesists often prefer to define height from the surface of a reference ellipsoid, see Geodetic system, vertical datum.
Defining the height of geographic landmarks becomes a question of reference. For example, the highest mountain by elevation in reference to sea-level belongs to Mount Everest, located on the border of Nepal and Tibet; however the highest mountain by measurement of apex to base belongs to Mauna Kea in Hawaii, United States.

In aviation

In aviation terminology, the terms height, altitude, and elevation are not synonyms. Usually, the altitude of an aircraft is measured from sea-level, while its height is measured from ground level. Elevation is also measured from sea-level, but is most often regarded as a property of the ground. Thus, elevation plus height can equal altitude. But the term altitude has several meanings in aviation, see Altitude in aviation.

In human culture

Human height is one of the areas of study within anthropometry. As pointed out in an article in The New Yorker, the average height of human populations appears to be a convenient metric for all the factors that make up a group's well-being. While height variations within a population are largely genetic, height variations between populations are mostly environmental.
The United Nations uses height (among other statistics) to monitor nutritional standards in developing nations. In human populations, average height can distill down complex data about the group's birth, upbringing, social class, diet, and health care system. However, the height of a human is not always directly connected or related to such things as nutrition, social class, etc.
height in Arabic: ارتفاع
height in Bulgarian: Височина
height in German: Höhe
height in Esperanto: Alto
height in French: Hauteur
height in Galician: Altura
height in Indonesian: Tinggi
height in Hungarian: Magasság
height in Japanese: 高さ
height in Norwegian: Høyde
height in Norwegian Nynorsk: Høgde
height in Polish: Wysokość
height in Portuguese: Altura (medida)
height in Russian: Высота
height in Simple English: Height
height in Tamil: உயரம்
height in Vlaams: Oogte
height in Chinese: 高度

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

French pitch, Olympian heights, acme, acme of perfection, aerial heights, altitude, amount, amplitude, apex, apogee, apotheosis, area, ascent, assumption, authority, authorization, be-all and end-all, beatification, bigness, blue ribbon, bluff, body, breadth, brow, bulk, caliber, canonization, cap, championship, classical pitch, cliff, climax, cloud nine, command, compass, consummation, control, coverage, crag, crest, crown, culmen, culmination, cut, degree, deification, depth, diameter, dimension, dimensions, directorship, dizzy heights, dominion, edge, effectiveness, elevation, eminence, enshrinement, erection, escalation, escarpment, ether, exaltation, expanse, expansion, extension, extent, extreme, extreme limit, extremity, fell, first place, first prize, gauge, girth, grade, greatness, headland, headship, heaven, heavens, hegemony, heights, high noon, high pitch, high point, highest, highest pitch, highest point, highness, hill, imperium, influence, interval, jurisdiction, key, kingship, largeness, last word, leadership, leap, length, level, lift, lifting, limit, loftiness, lordship, low pitch, magnitude, management, mark, mass, mastership, mastery, maximum, measure, measurement, meridian, most, mound, mountain, mountaintop, ne plus ultra, new high, new philharmonic pitch, no place higher, noon, notch, note, nuance, palms, paramountcy, pas, peak, peg, perfection, period, philharmonic pitch, philosophical pitch, pink, pink of perfection, pinnacle, pitch, plane, plateau, point, pole, power, presidency, primacy, prominence, promontory, proportion, proportions, radius, raise, raising, range, ratio, reach, rearing, record, register, remove, ridge, rise, rising ground, round, rule, rung, say, scale, scarp, scope, seventh heaven, shade, shadow, size, sky, sovereignty, space, spire, spread, stair, standard, standard pitch, stature, steep, step, stint, stratosphere, summit, supremacy, sursum corda, sway, tallness, tip, tip-top, tonality, tone, top, top spot, tor, tread, tune, ultimate, upbuoying, upcast, upheaval, uplift, uplifting, upmost, upper extremity, uppermost, upping, uprearing, uprise, upthrow, upthrust, utmost, vantage ground, vantage point, vertex, very top, volume, width, zenith
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