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ceiling

Syllabification: ceil·ing
Pronunciation: /ˈsēliNG
 
/

Definition of ceiling in English:

noun

1The upper interior surface of a room or other similar compartment.
Example sentences
  • Hard landscape materials are the walls, floors and ceilings of our outdoor rooms.
  • The traditional Scottish tower house has flagstone floors and a vaulted ceiling in the dining room.
  • The airy rooms had high ceilings; windows and doors opened onto shady verandahs.
1.1An upper limit, typically one set on prices, wages, or expenditure. See also glass ceiling.
Example sentences
  • But many analysts agree that the new price ceilings won't limit the ability of most power companies to make a profit in the region.
  • There is no natural ceiling to limit the price of market water.
  • Also, strict wage ceilings were maintained on public enterprises.
1.2The maximum altitude that a particular aircraft can reach.
Example sentences
  • The new aircraft will also allow pilots to increase their flying hours from 150 to 200 because of the aircraft's higher operating ceiling.
  • The maximum cruise speed of the aircraft is 500 km per hour and the altitude ceiling 9,500 m.
  • A number of miles passed under the nose as the aircraft brushed the bottom of the weather ceiling.
1.3The altitude of the base of a cloud layer.
Example sentences
  • The cloud ceiling was about 9,000 feet, with a temperature of 62 degrees.
  • Observations were not made in rain, snow, or fog, or when the cloud ceiling was less than 100 m AGL.
  • Unfortunately the dragons can't climb above the cloud ceiling so the five travelers are stuck in the horrid weather.
2The inside planking of a ship’s bottom and sides.
Example sentences
  • Suddenly a thud knocked the shuttle ninety degrees as the crew inside were bashed against the ceiling of the small craft.

Origin

Middle English (denoting the action of lining the interior of a room with plaster or paneling): from ceil + -ing1. sense 1 dates from the mid 16th century.

More
  • The reason ceiling has the -ing ending usually associated with action is that it was originally an action, from to ceil meaning ‘line (the interior of a room) with plaster or ling’, perhaps from Latin celare, ‘conceal’. The sense describing the upper interior surface of a room, dates from the mid 16th century.

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