Definition for AL'TI-TUDE

AL'TI-TUDE, n. [L. altitudo, of altus, high, and a common termination, denoting state, condition, or manner.]

  1. Space extended upward; highth; the elevation of an object above its foundation; as, the altitude of a mountain, or column; or the elevation of an object or place above the surface on which we stand, or above the earth; as, the altitude of a cloud or meteor; or the elevation of one object above another, as of a bird above the top of a tree.
  2. The elevation of a point, or star, or other object above the horizon. This is true or apparent altitude; true, when taken from the rational, or real horizon; apparent, when taken from the sensible, or apparent horizon.
  3. Figuratively, high degree; superior excellence; highest point of excellence. He is proud to be altitude of his virtue. – Shak. The altitude of the eye, in perspective, is a right line let fall from the eye, perpendicular to the geometrical plane. – Encyc. Meridian altitude, is an arch of the meridian between the horizon and any star or point on the meridian.

Return to page 99 of the letter “A”.